THE INDIRA Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a biomedical waste management-training course for healthcare personnel in private as well as government sectors.
The training module has been developed by IGNOU as per the WHO guidelines. The Madhya Pradesh Regional Centre started training of about 500 healthcare personnel across the State recently. The five government medical colleges have been made nodal centres for the training.
The training programme would involve various activities including segregation into various categories followed by efficient handling and transportation, and finally, disposal using eco-friendly techniques.
Disposal includes incineration, deep burial, autoclaving, microwaving, disinfection, shredding, drug disposal in secured landfills, chemical treatment and proper discharge.
IGNOU regional director Dr K S Tiwari told Hindustan Times that as per the Biomedical Waste Management/Handling Rules, 1998, it is mandatory for all types of healthcare units to ensure proper segregation, handling and disposal of waste.
He said that biomedical wastes infect 1,000 persons everyday. This infected group includes poor children, mainly rag pickers, those residing near heaps of toxic waste and anyone who handles this waste carelessly.
HIV and Hepatitis B are most common and fatal infections. People entrusted with handling of this waste are unaware of the WHO norms and waste management planning and strategy. They are also not aware of the rules and the fact that their violation might lead to punishments.
The IGNOU-WHO programme would take care of all these aspects and equip healthcare personnel with the required knowledge and skills in the matter, making healthcare safer.
The State has a huge healthcare network of 48 district hospitals, 1000 nursing homes, ayurvedic colleges besides more than 3,000 healthcare units, 1000 pathology labs and blood banks across the State. The training of personnel here would be big step forward.