Medical waste being sold at local market: TIB

Photo shows medical waste lying on ground at Kamalapur Railway General Hospital, Dhaka.

Bangladesh is the second biggest producer of medical waste in South Asia.

A certain ring is selling this recycled and harmful medical waste in local markets as the medical waste management in the country is weak and anarchy is prevailing in this sector, according to Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).

TIB revealed this in a study titled ‘challenge of good governance in medical waste management and the way out’, which was released at a virtual event on Tuesday.

TIB collected data from more than 200 government and private hospitals, city corporations, municipalities and contractor firms, and interviewed people from medical waste management sector between June 2021 and November 2022 to carry out the study.

The study shows 60 per cent of hospitals do not have bins to collect medical waste and 60 per cent of hospitals have no waste recycling system.

TIB said a portion of hospital employees and a ring of contractors are bringing back medical waste to markets and that is a big threat to public health.

The study shows corruption persists in medical waste collection, preservation, transportation and recycles and waste management lacks work force. Financial corruption mars manpower recruitment, and health ministry and city corporation officials and employees are involved in corruption.

Addressing the event, TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said anarchy prevails in medical waste management and there are weaknesses in laws related to this sector. No institutional structure has been created in medical waste management and this also lacks coordination, he added.