HEWMEP Gulbarga and CHAMP

All the components of HEWMEP have been comprehensively implemented in the Gulbarga city of Karnataka with the funding support from Indo-Norwegian Environment Programme, Govt of Karnataka.

The HEWMEP Gulbarga project involved designing and setting up a completely operational common facility for bio-medical waste collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of biomedical waste of all the HCEs in Gulbarga city. The CBWTF is titled Common Healthcare waste Appropriate Management Plant or in short ‘CHAMP’ and is in operation since 2005.

Thus, the HEWMEP Gulbarga project was addressed from two levels, the hardware, i.e. the common facility and the infrastructure, and the software, i.e. capacity building of the various stakeholders. The Hardware component of the HEWMEP Gulbarga project comprised of designing and setting up of CHAMP, an integrated BMWM facility which accommodates every activity within the purview of Best Practices for BMWM i.e. collection, transportation, storage, treatment and disposal through appropriate methods. The software component of the project ‘Education and Training’ has been an integral part of the project as is mandated by the HEWMEP. The activities of the HEWMEP Gulbarga and subsequently of CHAMP CBWTF, thus are designed to achieve high levels of segregation and waste minimization, scientific collection, storage and transportation, and disposal of bio-medical waste in an eco-friendly and technologically sound way.

The HEWMEP Gulbarga project began in 2002 with a knowledge-awareness-practice (KAP) assessment to determine the existing levels of information, training, practices and bio-medical waste quantities in Gulbarga.   A random sample of 63 hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and laboratories out of a total of 412 were selected for the survey. The selection sought to include all categories of HCEs catering to different economic strata.  The survey was very helpful as it helped to determine the quantities, and the kinds of waste that were generated everyday.  It also revealed that there were seasonal variations in the waste generated.  Through the survey the levels of awareness that existed within the target groups, i.e. doctors, and healthcare workers like nurses, ayahs and ward boys, was gauged.  The findings also helped to determine the kind of equipment that would be required for CHAMP

During the course of implementation of HEWMEP Gulbarga project, BMWM being a technical and complex process experts’ were identified to advice on various aspects like technical specifications and tendering for equipment. As it was also a procedural requirement, committees were set up for specific areas of activity.  These committees helped in procuring equipment through norms that were in compliance with the Karnataka Transparency In Public Procurements Act – 1999 and Rules 2000.
In its attempt to establish a state-of-the-art facility, CHAMP has been equipped with:

  • Vehicles for transporting bio-medical waste fitted with special Hepa filters to prevent escape of bacteria > 0.3 microns and viruses > 6 microns from the container during transit.  An Ioniser has been built into the vehicle to absorb bad odours
  • On site cold storage facility for the waste - to store the bio-medical waste awaiting sterilization.  The cold storage prevents the waste from deteriorating during the waiting period
  • Totally biodegradable wax coated paper bags developed by CEE for collection of especially anatomical and pathological waste
  • Treatment facilities:
    • Incinerator - High pressure Venturi Scrubber system in the incinerator to ensure compliance with the emission limit for particulate matter of 150 mg/Nm3
    • Modified Autoclave - with rotary stirrers for uniform exposure of the waste and its efficient sterilization
    • Metal Sharps Manager - special containers for syringe needles and scalpels with safe needle extraction from the syringes.  A unique metal sharp manager, which can shred and sterilize in bulk, all the metal sharps and needles collected in unsterilized condition from clinics, hospitals and other sources
    • ETP for treatment of liquid waste
    • Use of special crates to provide safe and minimal handling of bio-medical waste during collection
  • Eco friendly techniques like solar water heater supplementing the autoclaving and washing system.

Even as the common facility was being set up, efforts were on to build capacity into the stakeholders who would be directly involved in the BMWM programme.  Doctors, nurses, ward boys, ayahs and housekeeping staff have been targeted through various methods like trainings, seminars, workshops and one-to-one meetings.  The trainings, which are ongoing efforts at capacity building, seek not only to build awareness about the importance of segregation of waste, but also the responsibility that each person has towards proper management of bio-medical waste. Staff on the other hand has been trained in more grounded aspects, such as segregation and storage. Training however does not follow structured modules, and continues to be a daily exercise where CEE staff visit HCEs, interact with hospital staff and demonstrate BMWM concepts through different methods. The trainings focus on the salient features of BMWM, namely:

  • Awareness on colour coding of bio-medical waste according to categories specified by the BMWM Rules
  • Segregation according to the colour codes
  • Proper methods of treatment
  • Safety measures to be adopted while handling bio-medical waste
  • The importance of wearing protective gear like gloves and masks while handling the waste
  • Precautions to be taken by healthcare workers like regular immunisation against tetanus and Hepatitis B, C etc.

The common facility has been established as a pay-and-use facility.  HCEs in Gulbarga have signed Memorandums of Understanding, with CEE for use of the facility.  Usage includes transportation of segregated waste to the facility and treatment & disposal according to the appropriate method. The common facility user charges include all the aspects of the BMWM system, and are meant to cover the operational costs as well as fuel expenses of the vehicles meant for collection and transportation of bio-medical waste, and management of the treatment unit.

The CHAMP CBWTF started its operations and was inaugurated on 17th June 2005 by Mr. N. Dharam Singh, the then Chief Minister, Govt of Karnataka (GoK). The other dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Minister for Water Resources and Transport and Gulbarga District Incharge Minister, GoK, Shri Gurupadappa Nagamarpalli, Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, GoK, Shri Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi, Member of Parliament, Gulbarga, Shri M.Y.Patil, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Afzalpur Constituency, Shri K.M.Shivkumar, Principal Secretary, DFEE, GoK, Shri Sadashivaiah, Secretary, DEE, GoK, Shri N. Bhoomanand Mane, Chairman, KSPCB and Shri Anjum Parwez, Deputy Comissioner, Gulbarga District, GoK.

The CHAMP facility is now used as a model for replication, and experiences and learnings that have emerged out of the HEWMEP experience and has been shared regularly at workshops and seminars.  CEE’s efforts are directed to take the concept forward and translate it into similar facilities in other places. 

Champ 1
Champ 1  
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