Pollution has become a great menace in today's life and it gives a dismal picture of
our country. But, nowadays, pollution due to biomedical waste has become an area of
serious concern. Everyday, like any other sector, the hospitals and medical laboratories
generate thousand tons of waste. Out of the total waste generated by hospitals, half is
biomedical waste, contaminated with disease carrying pathogens (Sharma, 1996). Generally, this
waste lies in the open which acts as breeding center for disease causing microbes.
Healthcare workers and people associated with handling waste often get needle
prick injuries and can get AIDS, Hepatitis through skin, etc. Moreover, it has been found
that recycled syringes, bags packed with used surgical cotton keep pouring out of the
dirty backyard of hospitals further aggravating this problem (Chaturvedi and Agarwal, 1996).
High infectivity and toxic potentiality of hospital waste has increased public
concern about its management in an environmentally sound manner. The government has
made certain rules for hospital waste management. But it is necessary to determine how far
the staff associated with hospitals is aware of these rules that are for the safe disposal of
hospital waste leading to better environment and safety of the living beings.
The present study was conducted in 10 hospitals of Haryana State selected purposively
from Hisar and Rohtak districts. One government hospital each from Rohtak and Hisar
district, along with two large and two small hospitals each from private and charitable hospitals
were taken randomly. A sample of 100 respondents, comprising medicos (29), paramedics
(36) and supporting staff (35) taken proportionately from government, private and
charitable hospitals, was considered. The data were collected with the help of pretested
interview schedule wherein specific information regarding hospital waste management was
recorded on three point continuum viz., fully aware, partially aware and not aware by giving the
scores as 3, 2 and 1, respectively. Scores were calculated on the basis of weighted mean score
and then classified in three categories, viz., low, medium and high awareness levels.