The state government does not seem to have learnt any lessons from the outbreak of Hepatitis B in Modasa, that has claimed 56 lives.
A visit to the state administered civil hospital in the capital shows how vulnerable the patients and their relatives remain to infections from medical waste. Used syringes lie strewn all around the premises. Stray cats and dogs move freely amid the waste, consuming whatever they find edible.
The waste disposal charter says that there should be four differently coloured bags to dispose different kinds of wastes. But every bag inspected contained a mixture of all kinds of wastes ranging from dressing cotton to surgical blades.
The bags, which are supposed to have been sealed in the ward once they are full and disposed off thereafter, were found lying open in the waste disposal yard. Waste treatment firms, authorised by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board are supposed to collect the waste daily, but in fact the bags lie for days on end, hospital sources who refused to be identified, said.
“We have taken action after the hepatitis outbreak,” said Dr Gautam L Sharma, assistant hospital administrator. “About 95 per cent of our nursing staff is already immunized. We will ensure that the outsourced employees who are in direct contact with the wastes, are also immunized.”
Admitting that waste disposal system in the hospital left much to be desired, Sharma said a separate cell for the disposal of the waste materials would be set up soon.