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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57-58

Emphasizing the role of stakeholders in the safe disposal of biomedical wastes

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication14-Jul-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, 3rd Floor, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, PO Box - Sembakkam, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1595-9587.160773

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Emphasizing the role of stakeholders in the safe disposal of biomedical wastes. J Clin Sci 2015;12:57-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Emphasizing the role of stakeholders in the safe disposal of biomedical wastes. J Clin Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Feb 19];12:57-8. Available from: http://www.jcsjournal.org/text.asp?2015/12/1/57/160773


Health care waste refers to any kind of waste originating from any health care related activities in health organizations, research institute or laboratories. [1] Although, almost three-fourth of the health care waste is non-hazardous, the remaining proportion is potentially hazardous (biomedical waste). [1] In general, biomedical waste (BMW) encompasses any solid or liquid waste, generated during the diagnosis, management, immunization or research work performed on human or animals, or in the manufacture or research trial of biological substance and animal waste generated from slaughter houses or any other institution. [2]

Definitive evidence is available to reflect that safe management of BMW allows maintenance of optimal health standards, and even prevents unfavorable impact on the environment. [1],[3] Furthermore, adverse consequences like mechanical or chemical injuries, nosocomial or other infections, and emergence of antibiotic resistance, have also been reported because of the improper handling of the BMW. [1],[2] Factors like a minimal commitment from hospital administrators; lack of comprehensive waste management policy; poor awareness among health care professionals about proper management of BMW; unacquainted health workers; and poor monitoring, have played an important role in exacerbation of the adverse impact. [2],[3],[4] Systematic analysis has revealed that to ensure safe disposal of the biomedical waste, all the stakeholders should understand their roles and responsibilities.

  • Policy makers: As applicable for other initiatives, to ensure sustainable results commitment from policy makers is desired. [2] Their role does not end with the development of legislations to promote safe handling of the BMW, but even extends to the promotion of cost-effective waste disposal method depending on the variation in type of waste or season [2],[5]
  • Hospital administrators: The hospital administrator's role is to develop a customized, yet comprehensive waste management policy depending upon the type of waste generated, identification of a nodal officer or constitution of a waste management committee. [3],[4],[5] The waste management committee is then supposed to develop a training plan for their staff; promote adoption of universal safety measures/disinfectants; and ensure overall cleanliness in the hospital [2],[3],[5],[6]
  • Healthcare personnel: Health care personnel remain the key elements in ensuring safe disposal of biomedical waste. [2],[4] Thus, measures like creating awareness, organizing training, motivating for regular hand washing, and involvement of undergraduate medical students, have been proposed to bridge the existing gap. [2],[7],[8] In addition, it is the responsibility of the health personnel to take all appropriate measures to ensure that unnecessary hazardous waste is not generated in the first place [1],[2],[9]
  • Workers involved in final disposal of the biomedical waste: Although, these workers constitute the last link in the chain of safe disposal of biomedical waste, nevertheless occupies a crucial role. They should be scientifically trained in ensuring the safe disposal of different kinds of waste as per the standardized recommendations, without compromising their health (viz. sensitized to consistently use personal protective equipments and safety procedures). [2],[4]

In conclusion, to ensure maintenance of optimal human health and safeguard the environment, it is crucial to build strategies to rope-in all the stakeholders.

  References Top

Park K. Hospital waste management. In: Park K, editors. Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine. 20 th ed. Jabalpur: Banarsidas Bhanot; 2009. p. 694-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
World Health Organization. Safe Management of Wastes from Health-care Activities. Geneva: WHO Press; 1999.  Back to cited text no. 2
Sharma A, Sharma V, Sharma S, Singh P. Awareness of biomedical waste management among health care personnel in Jaipur, India. Oral Health Dent Manag 2013;12:32-40.  Back to cited text no. 3
Mohamed Soliman S, Ibrahim Ahmed A. Overview of biomedical waste management in selected Governorates in Egypt: A pilot study. Waste Manag 2007;27:1920-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
Katoch SS, Kumar V. Modelling seasonal variation in biomedical waste generation at healthcare facilities. Waste Manag Res 2008;26:241-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
Ndidi N, Nelson O, Patricia O, John Sunday A. Waste management in healthcare establishments within Jos Metropolis, Nigeria. Afr J Environ Sci Technol 2009;3:459-65.  Back to cited text no. 6
Ferdowsi A, Ferdosi M, Mehrani Z, Narenjkar P. Certain hospital waste management practices in Isfahan, Iran. Int J Prev Med 2012;3(Suppl 1):S176-85.  Back to cited text no. 7
Nataraj G, Baveja S, Kuyare S, Poojary A, Mehta P, Kshirsagar N, et al. Report: Medical students for monitoring biomedical waste segregation practices-why and how? Experience from a medical college. Waste Manag Res 2008;26:288-90.  Back to cited text no. 8
Wahab AB, Adesanya DA. Medical waste generation in hospitals and associated factors in Ibadan Metropolis, Nigeria. Res J Appl Sci Eng Technol 2011;3:746-51.  Back to cited text no. 9


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