The concern for bio-medical waste management has been felt globally with the rise in deadly infections such as AIDS, Hepatitis-B and indiscriminate disposal of health care waste. The United Nations through UN Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal has classified health care waste as the most hazardous waste, after radioactive waste.
According to WHO, every year an estimated 16 billion injections are administered world wide, but not all of the needles and syringes are properly disposed off afterwards. In 2010, unsafe injections were still responsible for as many as 33 800 new HIV infections, 1.7 million hepatitis B infections and 315 000 hepatitis C infections. A person who experiences one needle stick injury from a needle used on an infected source patient has risks of 30%, 1.8%, and 0.3% respectively of becoming infected with HBV, HCV and HIV.
The main bottleneck to sound health care waste management programme is lack of training and appropriate skills, insufficient resource allocation and lack of adequate equipment. Thus the need to educate different health care professionals/workers, NGOs and other stake holders was identified as a priority. To cater the needs of these health care professionals, IGNOU and WHO, SEARO decided to develop and launch a Certificate Programme in Health Care Waste Management in the South-East Asia Region Countries.
The certficate programme has been developed inline with the Bio-Medical Waste Management (BMWM) rules 2016 of Government of India and safe management of waste from health-care activities, WHO 2014. The aim of the programme is to create essential knowledge and skills in health care waste and equip the learners to manage it effectively and safely and safeguard the community against adverse health impact of health care waste.
The broad Objectives of the programme are to:
- Sensitise the learners about health care waste and its impact on health and environment.
- Acquaint the learner group to existing legislation, knowledge and practices regarding health care waste Management practices in South East Asia Region countries.
- Equip the learner with skills to manage health care waste effectively and safely.