Lucknow Hospital Earns Global Recognition for Sound Bio-Medical Waste Management Systems

05 Mar 2013

In a short span of 2 years, King George’s Medical University reduces generation of infectious waste by 80 percent

Lucknow, India - The King George’s Medical University today received a Special Recognition Award from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization in Lucknow today. The award recognizes the outstanding work of KGMU medical staff in transforming the hospital over two and a half years from an institution without any effective waste management programme into a regional model institution for sound bio-medical waste management practices.

The award was accepted by Dr. Kirti Srivastava and the Nodal Officers of the Bio-Medical Waste Management Committee of King George’s Medical University. It was presented during the national dissemination work of the UNDP project, funded by the Global Environment Facility, titled ‘Global Healthcare Waste Management.’ The seven country project supports initiatives to create model bio-medical waste management programmes in hospitals and healthcare institutions in seven countries including Argentina, India, Latvia, Lebanon, Philippines, Senegal and Vietnam.  

The Special Recognition Award was presented by Jack Weinberg, Senior Policy Advisor, UNDP Global Healthcare Waste Management Project and Mrs. Payden, World Health Organization South East Asia Regional Office.

The Global project singled out KGMU to receive special recognition. “This project worked with many hospitals and healthcare facilities in seven countries,” said Jack Weinberg, Senior Advisor to the Global Project Team. “KGMU and its medical staff stood out for their deep dedication and the great challenges they overcame to create a state-of-the-art, sustainable model institution for sound bio-medical waste management practices.”

The project is implemented by UNDP with funding from the Global Environment Facility. It is supported by the World Health Organization and the international NGO, Healthcare Without Harm. The Indian component of the project is executed by the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests.

According to Dr. Subba Rao, Director, Hazardous Substance Management Division, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, “The Ministry of Environment and Forests applauds the transformation of KGMU’s hospital into a regional resource centre and model that can support efforts to implement sound bio-medical waste management practices across northern India.”

“Good bio-medical waste management practices are necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and to protect patients, hospital staff and the community at large,” said Mrs. Payden, Regional Advisor, World Health Organization, South East Asia Regional Office. “WHO is proud to support this award to Dr. Kirti and the Nodal Officers.”

A national dissemination workshop of the UNDP- GEF implemented health care waste management project titled ‘Demonstrating and Promoting Best Techniques and Practices for Reducing Health Care Waste to Avoid Environmental Releases of Dioxins and Furans and mercury reduction’ is being organized by  KGMU on 5 March 2013. This workshop was attended by delegates from UNDP, WHO, MoEF and other organizations.

When project activities started at KGMU in 2010, the hospital had no systematic bio-medical waste management programme in place. Funds were not available for adequate waste management supplies. Medical professionals and the paramedical staff generally considered the handling of infectious waste to be the responsibility of sweepers and waste handlers who lacked necessary training and protective equipment. Bags and bins containing infectious wastes were often not well-controlled and were routinely opened so that potentially recyclable materials could be removed and later sold. All waste from the hospital complex was then incinerated or dumped into an open pit, a situation common at most healthcare facilities across India.

After two and a half years of intensive effort, the situation in the hospital has been completely transformed and KGMU is now internationally recognized as a model institution for sound healthcare waste management practices. Bio-medical wastes are routinely segregated from other wastes at the point of generation thereby reducing potentially infectious wastes by more than 80 percent. This waste is then sterilized using a steam autoclave, permitting safe recycling which produces a revenue stream for the hospital. Bio-medical waste is no longer incinerated, thereby minimizing emissions of hazardous air pollutants.

Expressing satisfaction at the award, Chief Guest, Shri J.P. Sharma pointed to the importance of implementing this model across the state.

The Honourable Vice Chancellor Prof D.K. Gupta “Congratulated the whole team of bio-medical waste management committee for the commendable work they have done to transform the waste management system in the institution.”

The Honourable Vice Chancellor, the Dean of Faculty, the Registrar, the Medical Superintendents and the administration of KGMU have all been supportive throughout the implementation of the project,” said Dr. Kirti Srivastava. “They have agreed to devote necessary funds to continue the KGMU’s bio-medical waste programme following the end of the project and to retain the staff and training programs needed to sustain it.” 

Contact Information

Dr. Kirti Srivastava (9335920571), Dr. Anupam Wakhlu (9005784228), or Dr. Balendra Singh (9839121151)