When it comes to dispatching medical wastes, Bangladesh still lacks a proper functioning system. Sound medical waste management is absent and uncontrolled medical waste management combined with general waste is putting the environment and public health at grave risk.
The problem has escalated during the pandemic. Waste from various hospitals in Dhaka is being dumped in open dustbins or sewers in front of hospitals, including rivers all over the capital.
The government should take
to manage medical waste more
Moreover, the combination of water pipes with sewage lines also spreads infectious diseases. Most of these wastes are contagious, and the spread of disease through them is increasing at an alarming rate. Typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis, dysentery, diarrhoea, HIV, various skin diseases, jaundice, pneumonia and complications caused by the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are affecting the general public.
The current waste management policies and infrastructure are not enough to face the tests of 2021. Even before the pre covid period, our waste management system was not adequate. The hospitals and clinics are still filled with patients and as a result, the amount of medical wastes are surging.
Therefore, if not handled properly we could end up in a catastrophic situation.
The government should take necessary steps to manage medical waste more efficiently. The two city corporations need to build infrastructure and deploy adequate manpower to manage medical wastes. Hospitals and clinics also have a responsibility and they should not throw waste here and there. They should develop proper infrastructure and train their staff on how to handle medical wastes properly.