PESHAWAR: A lawyer has moved the Peshawar High Court against the unsafe disposal of hospital and medical wastes in the province seeking directives for the provincial government and relevant authorities to follow the laid down rules and standard operating procedure in this regard.
A petition was filed on Saturday by Saifullah Muhib Kakakhel saying medical, hospital and clinical wastes were not disposed of in accordance with the SOP provided by the government.
He claimed there was only one burning chamber in Khyber Teaching Hospital, which has been creating pollution and diseases including asthma, tuberculosis, etc. in the locality.
Lawyer seeks court orders for compliance with rules by relevant authorities
The respondents in the petition are the provincial government through chief secretary; secretary of the local government department; hospital directors of three major public sector hospitals including Khyber Teaching Hospital, Lady Reading Hospital and Hayatabad Medical Complex; Health Regulatory Authority through its chairman; Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency through its director general, and KP Environmental protection Agency through its director general.
The petitioner said the federal government had passed the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997, whereas the provincial government had passed the KP Environmental Protection Act, 2014, under which the Hospital Waste Management Rules 2005 had been farmed.
He said he had observed that the public and private hospital administrations were not complying with the SOPs issued by government under the said laws and rules.
The petitioner claimed that he had prepared a questionnaire and spent few months in research whether the public and private hospitals as well as private laboratories were following SOPs or not. As outcome of the said research, the petitioner claimed it was astonishing for him to know that there was no incinerator in the hospitals for the disposal of medical/ hospital. Clinical wastes.
The petitioner said there was only burning chamber in KTH, which was injurious to health of public at large due to extreme pollution.
He added that people living near the burning chamber were complaining that they had become patients of asthma and severe allergy and many other lung diseases.
The petitioner claimed there was no waste management committee in public and private hospitals.
He added that the waste was thrown in an open area near hospitals, which was collected by scavengers and junk dealers who sell it for the purpose of recycling it.
The petitioner said some waste, including parts of human body, were sold to make food for domesticated animals.
He said several newspapers have been reporting issues relating to medical/ hospital waste and incinerators since 2004 but till now the government and other respondents had not taken any step to save the environment.
The petitioner requested the court to direct the respondents to submit waste management plan for hospitals, report of expenditure spent on disposal of hospital and medical waste; report of employees working for disposal of waste and report of committees working for medical waste disposal and salaries and allowances paid to them for this purpose.
Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2017