Just too high

The Supreme Court has directed the government to form a committee to look into safe disposal of medical waste in the capital city. As per the apex court’s order, the committee would get four months’ time to complete the study and submit its report

to the SC. Responding to a public interest litigation filed by a group of lawyers of Pro Public, an NGO, the court order stated, “The panel must see how the hospitals and nursing homes have been disposing of the waste and whether they are following international norms.” Such a committee would comprise representatives of the government, hospitals and nursing homes in Kathmandu.

Proper management and disposal of medical waste is a growing concern among the Valley residents. It is a valid concern because medical wastes — used syringes, surgery equipment, septic waste, chemicals and others — have seldom been disposed of properly by the hospitals in the country. The local pharmacies too have contributed to the mess as

they throw wastes from their shops right on the roads. These days the sight of street children playing with used syringes is quite common in the Valley.

The hospitals and pharmacies must act more responsibly. The wastes from the hospitals and nursing homes should be burned in the incinerators or removed in other acceptable ways. Since the risk and danger associated with haphazard disposal of medical waste is just too high, the government must prescribe clear disposal methods and penalise those who do not obey the law.