Hospital Waste or Health Hazard

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Musarrat Ullah Jan is Peshawar based senior journalist. He can be reached at ullahmusarrat@gmail.com

Patras maseeh one of the cleaner who work with private hospital in Dabgari Peshawar, Part as daily collects different items from operation theatre of Khyber Medical Center , which is private health center of Dabgari. Daily more than three thousand people come to visit KMC for treatment. Mostly patients belong to remote area of province. Some of them get prescribed from doctors and some operate in same medical center.
Surgeons of the KMC used syringes inject medicine to the patient some patients get admission in KMC and surgeons give them drips. These used syringes and drips and other item goes to trash bin after the use.
26 year old Patras Maseeh one of the employ of the KMC who collect these used items from dustbin of the hospital drops it in the front of the front of KMC Dabgari Peshawar.
According to the Patras maseeh who is the member of Christian community in Peshawar, he passed class 10 from local government school and since 2 years he is working with private hospital as cleaner. He confirmed that daily he collects two bags of garbage form KMC, in which half of them are used items of medical equipment including syringes, drips and tube, that used for collect of blood and other things are dustbins and then drop on road side. He admit after some time municipal worker collect this garbage from the spot and some time used items remain two or three days on road side.
He admits its health hazard and dangerous for health but due to poverty he work as cleaner and collect used items but for the protection of his health he used mask. He said that hospital administration have no way to destroyed the used syringes, drips and other items.
14 years old Aurgzeb one of the garbage collector in front of lady reading hospital Peshawar, Daily he visits the garbage site and collect items from garbage that drop by hospital management in the front of hospital.
He collect different items and sale in scrape market, daily he get 400 rupees , which is the main income source of his family . Aurangzeb is the elder of his family. That’s why he works as garbage collectors.
Talks about his family that his father is ill and paralyzes in home, that’s why he is working as garbage collectors. He said that some time picking the different items from garbage the used syringe hit his hand during collection of items.
Aurangzeb shared that I know it’s a dangerous work to collect the used items especially hospital waste , some time the needle hit my finger but I remove the needle from effected hand and drop some blood from my hand . He further added that after two or three day I fell pain in my hand but later become normal.
Private hospital vs Government Hospital
That’s two different people who work as cleaner and garbage collectors in different location of the Peshawar city. One drop the private hospital waste on road side and another boy collect these items from government hospital waste. Situations are same private in government hospital in Peshawar. They used different items include syringes , drips and other items and drop it on road side , there is no one in private or government sector to trash it in incinerators.
Dabgari Garden one of the main Hub of private hospitals in Peshawar city, where more than 17 private hospital in working conditions, where daily goes on surgeries , same situation are in Khyber bazaar , Kabuli Chowk , University town and Hayat Abad area of Peshawar city, where private hospital continue same practice but they didn’t trash fully the hospital waste.
The administrator of the KMC Dabgari Garden Jehanzeb Khan clarifies the situation and said that we have no solution of the hospital waste, our cleaner collect hospital waste from hospital and drop it near side of the hospital. He admit that there is no way to remove permanent hospital used items including syringes , drips , if provincial government provide us separate collection vehicle , then we will drops these used waste and they trash its.
Khan said that every private hospital doing same practice in our area, we know its health hazard and dangerous but we try for patient safety and drop it along with other waste on road side dump.
During visit to the Dabgari Garden I felt smell near canal which is located in Dabgari , where I found the tubes, syringes near canal side that burn by local shopkeepers. That was different waste of private hospitals that was drop near canal in Dabgari. Blood also seen in these tubes, drips and syringes near canal, that burn. Bad smell in area was feeling because of these burn items.
Some drug users also sit along with them and they are injecting heroin with these used needles in their bodies, I try to talks with drug user but they didn’t want to talk with journalist and they threat me if I sit or catch the picture of them then they will punch me these used needles .

Lady reading hospital Peshawar one of the top government hospital teaching hospitals Peshawar, where daily hospital waste drop in the front of hospital , hospital management drop hospital waste in three different dumping sites of the hospital including all items in one site.
The public relation officer Mr. Zulfiqar Ahmed said that our staff collects all waste from different operation theaters and ward including common waste and drop it on dumping site. According to him the incinerator is running condition and all waste of hospital were burns on daily bases in hospital Peshawar.
The public relation officer of Lady reading hospital blamed the private hospitals owner of Khyber bazaar that put all waste in front of hospital and people blame the government hospital management for not trashing waste.
When I showed him picture of the hospital staff that dumping the waste in front of hospital, he said that give me the pictures of these people hospital management will take action against these employees.

Health minister KP
Health minister of Khyber pukhtoonkhwa Mr. Shahram Khan Talks about waste of the government hospitals in province and said that in all province mostly government hospitals have incinerators and all waste of surgeries burn through proper channel. He admits that provincial governments of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa create separate body to check the government and private hospital work. Which is Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa health care commission, this commission will check all necessary for the government and private hospital. According to health minister it’s the duty of commission to check these all things. He said that hospital waste is health hazard and we are trying to remove it from hospitals.
Question about lady reading hospital Peshawar incinerators health minister confirmed that incinerator is not in working conditions because of Sui Gas not properly reached to the incinerators and hospital management face problem in winter because lack of Sui Gas. He added that we will talk to the Sui northern gas pipe line to install full gas to incinerators.
According to investigation I found that Molvi G Hospital Peshawar, that located in Hashtangri Peshawar have no incinerator facility, Medical Supertandent of the hospital confirmed that we put all waste in shopping bags and they all pick by municipal department vehicle and they drop it and Hazar KhwanI Garbage line. During visit to child hospital of Haji Camp Peshawar I notice that all used syringes , drips and tubes of blood were on ground side of the hospital and no one care about the conditions.
During visit of the Children hospital Haji Camp I found the old Incinerators of the hospital in bad conditions the management confirmed that it was install before 1990 but unfortunately its stopped work, so we dump all hospital waste on dumping side.
According to investigation more than 1594 health facility center in province , there are nine teaching hospitals , 21 are DHQ , 23 are THQ , 6 women and children hospitals , 43 Civil Hospitals , 4 police Hospitals , 4 Jail Hospitals , 771 Basic Health unit , 447 civil dispensaries , 92 rural health center and more TB centers in province . The management of these hospital used tube for test, syringes and drips for patients but they have no option how to remove the hospital waste. Most of them drop the hospital waste with common waste and in some area they burn openly on dumping sites.

KPHCC Version
The Public Relation officer of the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa Health Care Commission Mr.Abbas Ali talk that our mandate is to regulate these hospitals including government hospitals. We are trying our best. According to him our department established in 2014 so its new but we are trying to registered the hospitals, he said that we have in four different zones of the province more than 369 are private hospital register himself with our department and the process is going on.
Version of the Environmental protection Agency
The deputy director of the EPA KP Mr. Sana Ullah said that our department check the status of the hospital , he added that mostly hospital management burn their waste on road sides , we notice different hospitals including private hospital of the Peshawar which involved in burning of the hospital waste. He further said that our official visits the hospitals and check inclinators condition because its create health issue.
According to the EPA D.D Sana Ullah we notice private hospitals in Peshawar, which not follow the rules & regulation. He admit that hospital waste create pollution issue, because mostly burn these things on open dumping site , some hospitals have incinerators but they are also not follow the rules.

Version of the Dr Ahmed Husain President of the Pakistan Medical Association
Senior doctor of lady reading hospital Peshawar ahmed Husain said that provincial health department install incinerator in hospital but they are not incinerators , only they burn the hospital waste but they create more health hazards in our society. Different disease now in common including cancer in our community, the reason is without protection burning of these hospital wastes.
According to him there are no systematic approaches to medical waste disposal in Pakistan.

Version of the incinerator company strongman
Mr. Azhar provincial correspondent of the Strongman Company, which provide incinerators all over in Pakistan. Strongman one of the companies located in Faisal abed. Mr. Azhar said that hospital waste one of the big problem in Pakistan; he said that proper handling of waste not only the responsibility of hospitals and health services but also that municipal authority that are largely responsible for the final disposal of the waste.
He claimed that our company installed Incinerator in lady reading hospital Peshawar in 2014, the case is 15 million rupees but they didn’t pay yet because they said that incinerator is not environment friendly. Even we claim that there is issue of environmental pollution in area. According to him only 7 government hospitals installed incinerators and one private hospital install incinerator but they claim that in all over KP incinerator are install. Which is fake claim of the provincial government?

Health authorities in developing countries fell that hospital waste disposal is big problem but one with least importance. In recent years, medical waste disposal has posed even more difficulties with the appearance of disposable needles, syringes and other similar items. Pakistan is also facing this problem. Around 250000 tons of medical waste is annually produced from all sorts of health care facilities in the country.

In Pakistan the situation remains deplorable and represents a grave risk not only to the medical and hospital staff, but also to the municipal authority and general public.

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