We set an example in waste-handling


BANGALORE: Wg Cdr R Franklin, Consultant, maintenance, St John's Medical College Hospital speaks to Roja Kandath about the new toxic waste disposal system in the hospital:
What motivated you to design a waste management system?

Improper handling of toxic waste results in hospital-induced infection which must be curbed at source. St John's being a teaching hospital has to set an example. In addition, we are duty-bound to adhere to the norms of the pollution control board on toxic waste management.

What are the salient features of the system?

The features include proper and correct methods of waste segregation so that toxic waste is confined to three coloured bins. Dedicated trained staff are also required for waste handling.

Is the system cost effective?

The system is very cost effective. A capital cost of Rs 15 lakh and a running cost of about Rs 1,000 per day is less than Re 1 per bed a day. At present, central facilities planned at Bangalore will cost Rs 3 per bed a day.

How can smaller hospitals manage medical waste?

Smaller hospitals can pool their waste and go in for chemical decontamination or steam sterilisation for plastics. Needle sticks can be electrically destroyed. Bandages and human waste can be microwaved at designated common areas.
What is the most crucial point in the management of medical waste?

The city of Bangalore is planning a central microwaving facility. This should solve the problems of smaller hospitals who have no land area for waste handling activities. However diligent disposal of toxic waste must be planned so that reusable items do not fall into wrong hands.

How long has this project been under way at St John's Medical College Hospital?

The system, the first of its kind in Bangalore, has been running successfully for six months now.