A good number of hospitals in the city keep dumping medical wastes in the open ignoring their consequences on the environment and human health.
Locals alleged the situation has come this far as there is no regulation for proper medical waste management.
Alhough the Ministry of Environment and Forests formulated a draft regulation in 2008, it has not been finalised yet.
According to Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC), a total of 101 hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers are operating in the city.
NCC sources said City Corporation and Prism Bangladesh Foundation signed an agreement for proper management of medical wastes. Besides, the NCC directed all the hospitals and clinics to sign contracts with Prism for proper disposal of medical wastes.
However, only 86 hospitals and clinics have signed agreements with Prism for disposing of medical wastes while the rest are dumping the wastes in their own old fashion.
The two government hospitals in the city — 300-bed Hospital and Narayanganj General Hospital — are yet to sign contracts with Prism.
Visiting the 300-bed Hospital, the UNB correspondent found that medical wastes are being thrown in open places surrounded by brick walls in front of its outdoor department.
These wastes contain various chemicals, including syringes, stitches, blood, pooled cotton, tumors, bandage-gauze, hand-gloves, drugs, drug-bottles, blood bags and saline bags.
The malpractice has put the public health at risk of various infectious diseases, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tuberculosis and various skin diseases.
Asked about the mismanagement, 300-bed Hospital’s Dr Abu Jaher said: “For the shortage of space, we’re dumping medical wastes here in an open spot surrounded by walls in front of the hospital.”
He said they had informed the city corporation for removing medical wastes from the spot. “But they didn’t respond to our call.”
The situation of medical waste management at Narayanganj General Hospital was found even worse as it does not even have any specific spot for dumping wastes.
All the medical wastes from Narayanganj General Hospital are being dumped on the approach road of the hospital, used by patients and locals regularly.
The medical waste management draft regulation instructs dumping wastes in a separated and preserved place and disposing of them in proper ways.
Contacted, Asaduzzaman, resident medical officer of the Narayanganj General Hospital, said: “We’ve no specific place for disposing of wastes. The city corporation generally takes away the wastes we throw near the approach road.”
Sheikh Mustafa Ali, medical officer of NCC, claimed that it is not their duty to collect medical wastes. “We collect regular wastes only, medical wastes must be destroyed by the hospital itself, and they have been instructed to sign contracts with Prism for that,” he added.
Md Faizur Rahman, inspector manager of Prism Bangladesh, said although most of the hospitals in the city had contracts with them, the two government hospitals and some others did not.
“We maintain regular contacts with them. We’ve sent proposals to these hospitals about a month ago. If they sign contract with us, we’ll start collecting their medical wastes,” he added.unb