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Development in isolation is unthinkable and development in the 21st century has never been more integrated and diversified cutting across disciplines, institutions, stakeholders even countries. Health, an important element of human development itself has a diversified portfolio today ranging from global to public health, from community to environmental health.

Furthermore, environmental health has branched out into several components such as ecosystem health, sanitation, health of oceans, forests etc. In other words, most aspects of development are very closely interlinked; it is difficult to separate one from the other and this applies to the relationship between public health and the environment. and/or environmental health.

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At the centre of it all lies good human health which can be ensured if the environment, in which humans thrive, is in good health as well. GEC’s Biomedical Waste Management Campaign is an initiative not just highlighting the importance of waste management but also the interdependence between public and environmental health.

Incorrect disposal of biomedical waste causes irreversible pollution in the environment: atmospheric as well as water. The consequences of the same therefore affect people and the environment that they survive in and depend upon. In order to generate awareness about this issue, Gujarat Ecology Commission conceptualized a series of training on Biomedical Waste Management for medical and paramedical staff from health systems operating at the community level to the district level. The campaign is being run in collaboration with the Commissionerate of Health, government of Gujarat. The training sessions were conducted by guest speakers from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, Commissionerate of Health and E-coli waste management Pvt. ltd. The campaign is currently running in the major districts of Gujarat viz. Ahmedabad, Baroda, Gandhinagar, Surat, Navsari, Bhavnagar.

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The response so far has been tremendous with medical and paramedical staff turning up in substantial numbers for the training. This response has encouraged us to focus more strongly on communication, a tool that is vital to knowledge exchange, capacity building and change. The participants received toolkits that include a ‘Biomedical Waste’ DVD,’Guideline for Biomedical Waste Management’ manual & a certificate of participation.

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