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Factsheet 17 on Medical Waste The Last Mile Reaching Rural India

TitleFactsheet 17 on Medical Waste The Last Mile Reaching Rural India
Publication TypeFactsheets
Year of Publication2002
KeywordsindiaAwarenessDelhiNGOReachingRuralEnvironmentTrainingdisposalToxics LinklandfillsIncineratorsLast MileRural Indiaprimary health caredisposable syringesmedical wastePHCsUNICEFRural communitiesinfrastructural facilities

The push for improving medical waste disposal practices in India is barely a few years old. In the first instance, the new law required that urban centres be focussed on, but soon facilities in rural areas will come under its purview. It may be said that when there is still so much to be done in the cities, why open up a new front? However, there are many pushes for understanding the dynamics of rural health care delivery urgently, including the new immunisation drives using disposable syringes and the expressed needs in that sector for solutions. Also, there is already experience in the field that can help in finding solutions for rural areas, even though the operational dynamics are very different - both in terms of infrastructure available and types of solutions and training needed. This factsheet attempts to outline the challenges, and present the existing solutions. There is a need to study the operations here in greater depth, and for innovating new solutions, which are cost-effective, and can fit into rural operations. The classic mode of installing small furnace-like incinerators has only led to dysfunctional devices which pollute, burn mixed waste, and often, just do not operate.

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