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Together, We Can Restore Our Earth

Together, We Can Restore Our Earth

Taking both the vaccine shots and following the COVID-19 related safety protocols are equally important in controlling the virus spread.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unquestionably put health on our priority list and with holistic health becoming the need of the hour, a healthy environment automatically gets added to the list. From the perspective of environmental well-being, there are numerous aspects that require attention, biomedical waste management is one of them.

Ever since the outbreak of coronavirus, the biomedical waste (BMW) burden has been on a rise. Considering the vulnerability of the situation, controlling biomedical waste generation is not a feasible solution. Management and proper disposal of such waste is an issue that needs immediate redressal.

With the sudden spike of cases in the second wave, biomedical waste generated from houses also increased significantly. Home-generated waste is mostly going unmanaged because of the lack of knowledge and awareness. At this point, mismanagement of waste at the domestic level is a bigger concern for the country than the quantity.

Also, in light of the World Environment Day, a focus on the proper management of the waste is essential for restoring the ecosystem. Non-segregation at the household level is leading to contamination of other wastes and ultimately the natural resources. By ensuring proper disposal and management, we can prevent the land and water bodies from degradation due to contamination.

While there are biomedical management rules and guidelines in place and around 200 combined biomedical waste treatment facilities, people are mostly unaware. Being ignorant they often mix these items with general waste and put them in their garbage bin. The key solution here is addressing ignorance and spreading the right information.

Awareness drives and dedicated waste management campaigns could be a solution to this problem. By educating people about the health and environmental issues of improper waste disposal and giving them a clear guideline or SOP on the same can help. Even the local waste collectors should be better informed about the ways to collect and dispose of the waste.

Guidelines like disposing of the BMW in yellow bags/bins only, cutting and keeping solid wastes like gloves and PPE kits in isolation for at least about 72 hrs before disposal should be widely spread. In case of home quarantine and treatment, the BMW should be kept in a properly labeled bag and sanitized before being discarded. In remote places where disposal facilities are not available, the waste should be buried in deep pits following the suggested guidelines.

Another way to contribute towards environmental health, besides willfully taking actions for proper biomedical management at an individual level, is to keep oneself safe. Taking both the vaccine shots and following the COVID-19 related safety protocols are equally important in controlling the virus spread. By restricting the virus from spreading and breaking the chain of infection everyone can contribute their bit in restoring the earth and the ecosystem.

Remember, #Vaccine doses are necessary for a healthier life and safer planet. Vaccine #LagayaKya

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first published:June 29, 2021, 18:03 IST