1Department of Environmental Science, School of Life Science, J.S.S. University, Shivarathreshwara Nagara, Mysore-570015, India
2Kurdistan Environmental Health Research Center, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran
Inappropriate handling and disposal practices of healthcare waste (HCW) at healthcare centers are significantly increasing health and environmental hazards. This paper summarizes the existing situation of HCW handling and management practices at healthcare facilities in Kodagu district (India). This study was conducted for a period of six months using well-designed checklists along with field observations and personal interviews with healthcare workers. Various HCW management issues like quantitative generation, category-wise handling, source level segregation, existing treatment, and disposal methods were studied. Moreover, drawbacks and practices in segregation, collection, transportation, storage, and final disposal methods of HCW in healthcare centers were investigated. The present study showed that lack of knowledge, guilty attitude, negligence of healthcare workers, and poor infrastructure were the major reasons for failure in the HCW handling and management system in the district. In addition to HCW management and infrastructures, associated health and environmental impacts were also discussed. Based on the existing situation and HCW management practices, suggestions and recommendations were made that may ensure the potential HCW handling and management practices and environmental risks minimization.