PESHAWAR, April 2: While developing scientific protocols for waste management to prevent spread of infectious and viral diseases, the Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar has planned establishment of a placenta bank.
According to the hospital`s chief executive, Dr Umar Ayub Khan, in absence of proper scientific protocols of waste management, around 30 placentas, whose membrane is used for skin and eye grafts, go to waste.
“Non-infected placentas, which cost from 500 pounds to 700 pounds each in UK and the US, will be preserved in the bank,” he told Dawn on Monday.
Dr Umar said the placenta bank`s establishment was part of the waste management proposal being developed by the University of Peshawar`s Environmental Sciences Department for training of hospital staff on waste transportation. He said experts of the said department visited the hospital last week.
The KTH chief executive said the hospital produced 1,245kg waste, which included infectious, non-infective and sharp material, and therefore, a decision to train the relevant staff had been made.
“We need training of staff to let them separate one kind of waste from other before disposing it of. Currently, infectious and sharp waste is being incinerated, whereas the hospital has an agreement with town committees, which transport non-infective waste,” he said.
Dr Umar said more focus was being laid on infection control measures at the one main and two minor operation theatres besides eye and ear, nose and throat (ENT) operation theatres, main and ward-based laboratories and two labour rooms. He said all theatres had twice been fumigated in the past two months as part of the plan to make the hospital infection-free within 45 days.
The KTH chief executive said about 5,000 people visited outpatients departments everyday that also generated waste, while another 3,000 stayed with around 15,000 admitted patients everyday.
“Our plan also includes steps to create patients and their attendants` awareness of hazardous impact of waste,” he said, adding the hospital management was waiting for the proposal to complete and once it was submitted to them, training programme for staff would be launched.
Dr Umar said the hospital was also taking measures to protect healthy visitors against infections and a plan meant to stem tide of hospital-acquired infections was part of it.
Currently, KTH has no proper arrangement for waste management putting its staff and visitors at the risk of being affected by infections.
The hospital`s chief executive said special staff would be hired for handling matters related to waste management.
“In all wards, operation theatres and accident and emergency department, we will appoint trained people for managing waste collection and its transportation for incineration. They will also educate the relevant staff, patients and their relatives on good waste management,” he said.