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Issue 56
, 2014
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Seminar on Mercury Toxicity & Medical Waste Management

Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 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.