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Unsafe disposal of hospital waste serious threat to community: Environmentalist

09:39 AM | 23 Dec, 2018
Unsafe disposal of hospital waste serious threat to community: Environmentalist
ISLAMABAD - An environmentalist on Sunday says unregulated dumping of medical waste not only pollutes the environment, but also contributes to the spread of certain diseases by exposing health care workers, waste handlers, patients and the community at large to toxins and infections such as hepatitis, diarrhea, food-borne illnesses, skin infections, tuberculosis, and strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The environmentalist said due to lack of awareness, people frequently handle the waste with bare hands, raising the likelihood of spreading communicable and environmental diseases.

Talking to the private news channel, Specialist Dr Zia Ansari said, most of the public and private sector hospitals in the country were violating prescribed procedures for disposing of hazardous waste, adding, "it can spread disease widely if not disposed of properly.

He said, “some 20 to 25 percent of the total waste generated by health-care facilities is hazardous and may create health and environmental risks, which if not managed and disposed of in an appropriate manner will affect public health at large”.

The hospital wastes tend to consist of potentially harmful microorganisms that could infect hospital patients, health-care workers, and the general public if not disposed of appropriately, he informed.

He further explained that these were the scalpels, syringes, and other sharp objects used in health care activities.

These, if were not disposed of correctly, could puncture or cut their container, and then hurt anyone handling the waste, exposing them to infection.

The specialist added, syringes used for a patient could not be used for another patient, that might be obvious to all, but it was also true that in other countries of the world, used syringes and items with blood are to be burnt right away, blood bags are also something to decipher.

He warned that infected blood could spread various diseases including AIDs. Hospital waste was often found in different waste disposal sites where it really should not be, he criticized.

"When we say that we shouldn’t be a part of the pollution, then we should certainly mean it", he said.

It was a responsibility of the hospitals to dispose of off its waste properly so that it could not cause any harm to the environment and the people, he noted.

Zia Ansari also recommended organizing awareness and training programmes for health officers and planners, hospital administrators, medical staff and environmental health officers.

Moreover, appropriate, environmental-friendly and affordable technologies should be selected for the treatment and the disposal of hospital waste, taking into consideration both technical and financial resources available in the country, he suggested.

The author is working as Editor Digital Media for Daily Pakistan and can be reached @ItsSarfrazAli.

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PKR rate against US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Riyal - Check 16 April forex rates

Pakistani currency gains momentum against all currencies on April 16, 2024 Tuesday. US dollar was being quoted at 277.9 for buying and 280.85 for selling.

Euro was quoted at 295 for buying and 298 for selling while British Pound stands at 345 for buying, and 349 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.4 and Saudi Riyal's new rates was at 73.30. 

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 15 April 2024

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.9 280.85
Euro EUR 295 298
UK Pound Sterling GBP 345 349
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.45 76.2
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.3 74.05
Australian Dollar AUD 182.7 184.5
Bahrain Dinar BHD 739.38 747.38
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206.2
China Yuan CNY 38.45 38.85
Danish Krone DKK 40.45 40.85
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.57 35.92
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.86 1.94
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 903.91 912.91
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.92 59.52
New Zealand Dollar NZD 167.63 169.63
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.38 25.68
Omani Riyal OMR 722.1 730.1
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.35 77.05
Singapore Dollar SGD 206 208
Swedish Korona SEK 25.72 26.02
Swiss Franc CHF 307.11 309.61
Thai Bhat THB 7.61 7.76

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