IMAGE, a wing of the Indian Medical Association, is likely to give a report on a proposal to set up biomedical waste management plant in the city.

The Kochi Corporation will soon hold discussions with Indian Medical Association’s arm IMA Goes Eco-friendly (IMAGE) to help manage the biomedical waste generated from households.

IMAGE that operates a plant in Palakkad is likely to give a detailed project report on a proposal to set up biomedical waste management plant in Kochi.

With many bed-ridden elderly and chronically ill patients being attended to at homes, the biomedical waste generation from households have increased manifold. Since the residents are clueless about the norms of disposing them, the biomedical waste gets mixed up with the solid waste from households.

There is no data on the quantity of biomedical waste generated from households, but the Kochi Corporation is thinking in terms of channelising this waste differently. A senior official in the corporation told The Hindu that the discussions would be further to the presentation made by IMAGE on the project earlier.

The corporation official said it was a matter of concern that the biomedical waste gets mixed with other waste collected from households. It also poses serious health hazard for people handling the waste.

Households where adult diapers for patients need to be changed once, twice or even more times a day, can try to burn it if they have a backyard. For those living in flats, there is no go but to dispose it along with other waste. Patients on urine catheter need to change the catheter and urine bags once in 20-25 days. Glucometers that read blood sugar levels on strips that contain blood spottings are disposed along with either household waste or plastics. Syringes and needles used for insulin injections are yet another common biomedical waste generated in various households.

IMAGE is functioning with a single plant in Palakkad collecting waste from 5,364 healthcare institutions across the State that include 5,065 private, 286 government and 13 ESI institutions. In Ernakulam alone there are 823 healthcare institutions that are affiliated to IMAGE for clearing the biomedical waste.

But in spite of this, there are still a lot many institutions, small clinics, paramedical institutions, small laboratories that are not affiliated, said the corporation official.

State joint secretary of IMAGE, Dr. Abraham Varghese, told The Hindu that the idea was to set up two more plants in the State, one in Ernakulam and another in Thiruvananthapuram so that each zone will have a facility to dispose biomedical waste. However, the local bodies have to provide land for their projects.

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