Although the object being cut is without a label, it is clear that it was a dialyser meant for filtering the blood of kidney-disease patients.
Unauthorised, unregulated recycling of medical wastes can cause spread of infections like hepatitis A and B, or something even more serious, according to experts.
A matter of grave concern is that hospitals are a source of superbugs resistant to commonly used antibiotics and such handling of medical wastes helps spread those superbugs, said Prof ABM Faruq, of Dhaka University’s pharmaceutical technology department.
The small shop in Islambagh, innocuous at first glance, is part of a thriving black-market industry which has grown by taking advantage of an ineffective system put in place in 2005 to ensure safe disposal of medical wastes.
In this industry, safety takes a back seat to money-making. The whole operation is run by a syndicate of hospital staffers, collectors of recyclables, scrap shop owners and recycling businesses. The lack of monitoring by the authorities is an added benefit for them.