News and Events

Biomedical Waste a Major Threat

Kasargod : In 2002, an agency named IMAGE was formed to effectively manage and dispose biomedical waste generated from hospitals and clinics across the state. Twelve years since its inception, only 5,364 of the total 14,935 healthcare institutions in the state utilise the service of IMAGE, while the rest 9,571 dump biomedical waste along with garbage on roadsides and other isolated areas. Experts warn that it will pose a threat to the health of public with the chances of diseases to spread through this malpractice. "Wayward dumping of biomedical wastes will pollute the air, water and also spread various diseases such as Hepatitis-B and HIV. The concerned officials must take measures on a water footing to curb this harmful practice," said Dr.M K Appunni, retired DMO. As per the bio-medical waste management rules, 1998, a commom registered authority should handle bio-medical waste. In Kerala, IMAGE is the authority and has got a biomedical waste elimination plant at Palakkad. IMAGE collects medical wastes from hospitals and clinics by levying a service charge. Moly Kutty, member secretary of Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), said, "We will examine the issue with utmost care. But we don't think that it is such a grave issue as Kerala has good track record over effective disposal of biomedical waste."