Seminar on Mercury Toxicity & Medical Waste Management
Source: Toxics Link, Date: December , 2014
Toxics Link in collaboration with the State Department of
Health, West Bengal conducted a daylong seminar on 19 December 2014, in Kolkata on issues relating to medical
waste management and mercury toxicity in the healthcare sector. The seminar
focused upon the entire government healthcare set up in thirteen districts
(except six districts) of North Bengal region.
The seminar was inaugurated by Dr. Biswaranjan Satpathi,
Director of Health Services, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt.
of West Bengal, where he acknowledged the initiatives taken by Toxics Link and
expressed concerns over the condition of medical waste management in the state
of West Bengal. He attributed the deteriorating scenario of handling waste to
the attitude of the healthcare professionals and asked them to be more
responsible in handling medical waste in their respective healthcare
facilities. Mr. Satish Sinha, Associate
Director, Toxics Link in his inaugural speech pointed out the gaps that persist
in the implementation of bio-medical waste management practices in the state.
He also talked about the global stand on mercury and highlighted the need for
phasing out the heavy metal from the healthcare sector, given the presence of a
global legally binding treaty, named Minamata Convention. A private healthcare
facility which has shifted from mercury to mercury free alternatives presented
case study of their hospital in which they highlighted the benefits and challenges faced by
them during the process of becoming mercury free.