Islamabad - There is urgent and dire need for evolving a proper mechanism to handle discarded syringes and other waste material that may pose a health risk.

Citizens have pointed out that these waste materials may pose threat to sanitary workers by causing injuries and infections. They also expressed apprehension about recycling of these discarded syringes.

They claimed that incinerators in main hospital are not up to mark. An international standard incinerator has a capacity of 40 kilograms to 50 kilograms but old manual incinerators are being used in hospitals which only dump 10 kilograms waste daily in shifts, they complained.

A patient at Polyclinic Tahir Waqas said untreated and improper disposal of waste was causing problems as the hospitals had ineffective waste disposal system. “In the absence of proper arrangements for disposal of waste, Polyclinic dumps used articles in its stores where they continue to pile up,” he claimed.

There are reports of theft of used syringes, drips and blood bags, said a citizen. He said the waste containing iron and glass cannot be burnt in the incinerator and is usually dumped in suburbs or areas adjacent to the hospitals, causing many problems.

Health experts said that there was dire need to promotes public awareness in this regard and solutions for safe disposal of needles, syringes, and other sharp items. They said sanitary workers, particularly children collecting garbage and staff of hospitals, are at high risk of getting infected with viruses.

When contacted, an official of Polyclinic said the hospital had made special arrangements to dispose of hospital waste on daily basis. He said that every ward and department of the hospital had been provided colour-coded waste bins for segregation for solid waste, infected waste and sharps.

The solid waste is collected and disposed of through sanitation department of Capital Development Authority (CDA) while infected waste and sharps and hazardous waste and needles are collected separately and sent to the main storage place daily.

This infectious waste is finally disposed through incineration process.