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Issue 38
, 2013
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80 pc hospitals lack medical waste management: Report

Source: Republica, Date: , 2013

KATHMANDU, Jan 26: More than three-fourths of the hospitals in the country do not practice safe disposal of health-care waste, states a report issued on Friday.

According to a report published here by the NGO Center for Public Health and Environmental Developmental (CEPHED), 80.65 percent of hospitals lack mechanisms for disposing of health-care waste such as used syringes, bandages, body parts and diagnostic samples. 

The study conducted by CEPHED at 31 hospitals shows that 16 percent of the hospitals get their water supplies from badly protected areas. However, the rest of the hospitals do have acceptable sources of water.

“This report has shown the poor health quality of our nation. The government should improve all its services and provide quality health services,” said Ram Charitra Shah, executive director of CEPHED, who led a team of researchers to prepare the report. 

Similarly, only 22 percent hospitals have conducted an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA). Hospitals that avoided EIA pose a threat to environment, public health and the entire garbage disposal system. According to the Environment Act-1997, one should have EIA clearance to open a hospital, but a significant number of hospitals do not have such clearance.

“Following the legal provisions on EIA is a must,” said Keshab Bhattarai, secretary at the Ministry of Science and Technology. 

Likewise, the report shows that the 10 percent free health service provision has not been implemented at any health organization. And 35.48 percent of the hospitals lack knowledge about proper hand-washing practices. 

Similarly, 90.32 percent of hospitals do not at all have any environmently sound waste treatment system. 

The research report titled Environmental Health Condition of Hospitals in Nepal is based on detailed evidence gathered by CEPHED with the financial support of the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The report was jointly launched by Bhattarai and Dr. Pravin Mishra, secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP).

“We should put in place a framework to tackle the problem of hospital waste management because the issue poses a serious threat to public heath and environment,” said Bhattarai.