India: Hospital dumps dead embryo among other medical waste on roadside
June 29th, 2010
In a chilling reminder of the worth of human life in a bustling metropolis, pieces of a dead human foetus were spotted lying in a roadside dump in Patparganj, opposite Mother Dairy.
When the locals were queried about the origins of the waste that included syringes, gloves, blood-stained cotton and bandages, they pointed to a nearby maternity centre.
Just a few hundred meters away from the dump stands Ram Lal Kundan Lal Orthopaedic Centre and RK Maternity Home. The hospital is the only private medical centre in the close vicinity and when this correspondent reached the hospital to enquire about the waste, the hospital staff refused to answer queries.
A ward boy in the hospital, requesting anonymity, told MiD DAY that the hospital does not have an incinerator and the waste is not segregated as per the government guidelines regarding the biomedical waste. "I am not sure who dumped the waste there," he said.
Doctors in the hospital rubbished it, saying somebody else might have left it there. "We don't dump our waste like this," an orthopaedician with the hospital said, requesting anonymity.
However, the locals stressed on the fact that as RK maternity home and orthopaedic hospital is the only medical centre in the close vicinity, there is no chance that somebody else might have done it. According to the Bio-medical waste (management and handling) Act 1998, the licence of any hospital found dumping medical waste in a public area shall be cancelled.
Medical waste is not harmful just for those who live around it but also the animals that might come in touch with the dump in search of food. Also, rag pickers most of whom are children are at the maximum risk of contracting serious infections from such waste.
Innocent bystanders at the Ganesh Nagar bus stand, situated just ten feet away from the garbage dump, have been exposed to dangerous infections and diseases due to the waste. "We know that the RK hospital staff dumped the waste over here, but what can we do? We don't know whom to complain, we mind our business and never interfere," said a shopkeeper near the bus stand.
A senior doctor at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital pointed out that anybody who would come in contact with such waste carries a potential risk of contracting dangerous skin infections, hepatitis and even HIV/AIDS. A spokesperson for MCD said, "We can't say anything as of now. We will check the waste dump and then initiate appropriate action."
Original article at Midday.