The Sri Lanka government is to take over and regulate the existing clinical waste disposal mechanism which is at present under the monopoly of a private company.
Central Environment Authority Chairman Charitha Herath said, “There have been instances where clinical waste was disposed with municipal waste. It is highly dangerous as there can be infectious material among clinical waste.”
Initial discussions have begun between Health Ministry and the Environment Ministry officials to set up six clusters of Agencies to manage clinical waste and the discussions are to be completed within this month. This will be a joint public-private partnership.
In countries like Sri Lanka, the highest standards of waste disposal are vital to reduce spread of disease. Clinical waste adds to that burden of disease, and the tropical climate of Sri Lanka exacerbates that problem as sanitation is difficult where the water table is high.
Central control of clinical waste management activities is a bold step, but one that ensures the highest degree of control and performance. Additionally, waste control and security will ensure no salvage of items from discarded clinical wastes thus promoting higher standards of public health through the elimination of elicit and obviously dangerous re-use of used medical items including syringes and needles.