DERA GHAZI KHAN-The medical superintendent of Teaching Hospital Dera Ghazi Khan has failed to implement the Hospital Waste Management (HWM) Rules-2014.

“The medical waste is not properly collected, segregated, transported nor disposed of as per the rules,” it has been revealed in several inspection reports of District Officer Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) DG Khan.

The EPA has also recommended legal action against themedical superintendent under HWM Rules-2014 and the provisions of Punjab Environmental Protection Act-1997 amended in 2012.

The inspection reports have pointed out that infectious waste, pharmaceutical waste, non-risk waste, domestic or office waste were produced and disposed-of near the open plot without prior segregation, classification and treatment.

Likewise, the chemical waste, medicine used for treatment of patient, laboratory liquid waste and toilet waste produced during the operational activity are disposed of directly into the municipal sewerage.

Cleanliness arrangements and sanitation condition of the hospital were seen improper at the time of their visit. The reports had felt dangerous apathy of administration and found out that emergency response system and fire fighting measures were not seen in the hospital.

EPA Inspector Abrar Hussain reported that syringes, needles, plastic bottles, drips and infusion bags were not cut or broken at the point of use as these things are recovered for reuse by the sweepers.

Furthermore, he caught red handed M Munawar for collecting the hospital waste like syringes and plastic bags for the purpose of sale. Abrar reported that a few bags of hospital waste without segregation were seen in the boundary of the incinerator. There was no storage room near the incinerator for the storage of waste. The holes were dug near the incinerator.

An administrative staff member with request of anonymity said that a corrupt mafia openly enjoys the funds of hospital and has fully occupied the administration of the hospital. Every department has been destroyed only for their money lush, he said.

He said that the hospital waste weighing almost 166 kg per day or 4,980 kg per month is generated here which causes serious health threats to the citizens.

Talking to The Nation, Abrar said that though one incinerator of single chamber with capacity of 25 Kg/hr has been installed in the hospital but it has been observed that the incinerator was not being utilised properly.

Log book of incinerator is not maintained while all staff members handling yellow infections waste do not wear protective clothes/safety gloves.

To a question, Abrar said that health professionals as well as relatives of patients were facing the risk of getting infected with different diseases as they frequently come in contact with sharps, such as blades and needles.

When contacted, Waste Management Officer Dr M Khalid Tehseen said that hospital was facing shortage of funds, staff and equipment to meet the standard of HWM Rules-2014. Dr Tehseen added that several letters have been sent to all the higher-ups concerned but to no avail.