Biomedical waste disposal unit sets effective example in Kerala
The Indian Medical Association Goes Eco-Friendly (IMAGE) biomedical waste disposal plant, set up in Kanjikode town of Kerala's Palakkad District, has become successful in showing the rest of the country how to clear segregated biomedical waste every day.
Set up in 2003 by the Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), this plant has helped many hospitals resolve their biomedical waste handling crisis.
The waste is collected in containers and taken away by a vehicle from each member hospital and clinic and is sent to the common biomedical waste treatment and disposal plant.
Biomedical waste is a highly infectious waste material from bed-ridden patients using urine catheters or adult napkins, diabetics using syringes to administer insulin or anyone using sanitary napkins or dressing wounds.
It also includes soiled cotton, dressing materials, beddings and blood contaminated cloths, papers and teeth which are burnt using a machine at high temperature in a closed furnace.
The Supreme Court judgment in December 2002 to dispose the medical waste within 48 hours of generation forced doctors engaged with IMA in Kerala chapter to find out a solution.
While talking to reporters, chairman of IMAGE, C. K. Chandrashekharan expressed his contentment over success of the plant.
"Only the Kerala branch dared to start such a venture. And in 2003 we launched this plant to scientifically dispose off biomedical wastes. Really it is a very big problem. And IMA has initiated the responsibility only in Kerala. Now among the IMA branches it is known as Kerala model," he said.
Now over 70 percent of the private and government hospitals in the state are covered under this system.
Chandrashekharan explained the functioning and procedure for the disposal of biomedical wastes at the plant.
"Hospitals, clinics, dental clinics and labs, they joined the plant, then they were affiliated to the plant. And after affiliation, we used to give ideas to them. After training, they do the segregation of the biomedical wastes in their hospitals. And then, the segregated biomedical waste is collected and after that transported to the plant in a closed vehicle. 33 such vehicles are in Kerala and it will be brought to the client and scientifically disposed off in the plant within 48 hours and 33 vehicles travel to Kerala and all the biomedical wastes of all affiliated hospitals, government or private, dental clinics, clinics and labs can be brought here and they are scientifically disposed off within 48 hours," he said.
The biomedical waste treatment plant at Palakkad disposes 15 tons of waste materials every day with a scientific procedure.