Govt introduces HCWM guideline

Kathmandu, November 21

The government has introduced Health Care Waste Management Guideline to ensure that there are no adverse health and environmental consequences of handling, storage, treatment and disposal of Health Care Waste.

This guideline sets a minimum standard for safe and efficient HCWM in Nepal and aims to protect public health by reducing the exposure of employees, patients, attendants, and entire community to hazardous HCW, facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements and enhance community relation by demonstrating a commitment to environmental protection.

HCWs not only affect the waste generators, but also its handlers and general public. HCW includes all the wastes generated by healthcare establishments, research facilities, and laboratories.

According to Solid Waste Management Act 2011, medical waste means the hazardous waste produced and discharged from hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, dispensaries, blood banks, pathology laboratories, veterinary institutions and health research centres.

Health care facilities generate large amounts of waste, which require proper treatment and disposal.

A study conducted in hospitals of Nepal by the Ministry of Health and Population with support from World Health Organisation in 2012 concluded that only 38.7 per cent of the hospitals have adopted correct procedures for segregation of HCW.

In Kathmandu, the waste collected by municipal vehicles including medical waste, is disposed at Okharpauwa dumping site without any pre-treatment.