Dera Ghazi Khan-Almost all the public and private sector hospitals, laboratories and clinics across the district are violating the Hospital Waste Management (HWM) Rules-2014 fearlessly thereby creating health hazards for the local people.

The violation of HWM Rule is affecting the health of people, revealed several inspection reports prepared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Dera Ghazi Khan. The EPA has recommended legal action against Jannat Maternity Home located at Balakh Sarwar City DG Khan under the relevant section of Punjab Environmental Protection Act-1997 (as amended in 2012).

EPA inspector M Arshad inspected the hospital and reported that Dr Mehmooda Nasreen (Owner) has failed to ensure compliance with HWM Rules-2014. Hospital waste is not properly collected, segregated, transported and not being disposed of under provision of HWM Rules, he said.

It lacks the facility of incinerator for proper disposal of hospital waste, nor it manages the incinerator of DHQ Hospital or any other private sector facility for the purpose. Syringes, plastic bottles, drips and infusion bags are not being cut or broken at the point of use by person using them.

Infectious waste, pharmaceutical waste, non-risk waste, domestic or office waste were being disposed-of directly near the hospital without prior segregation under rules 16(1). Cleanliness arrangement and sanitation conditions of the hospital are very poor; due to obnoxious environmental conditions, various diseases are spreading through infected syringes, bottles, blades and other waste. Emergency response system measures are not seen installed in the hospital.

The report disclosed that before the surprise visit, a letter was issued to Dr Mehmooda Nasreen to implement the HWM Rules-2014 in letter and spirit but to no avail.

Talking to The Nation, EPA District Officer Naseem Shah said many health facilities are violating the HWM Rules-2014, which is harmful for public health. EPA has started taking action against such hospitals, he said. Many cases for legal action have been forwarded to EPA Lahore office, he concluded.