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Dumping of foetuses: police still looking for culprits

Karachi: The Mehmoodabad police on Wednesday interrogated doctors, owners of various clinics and maternity homes in its jurisdiction to resolve the mystery surrounding the dumping of five fetuses, but remained clueless.

A meeting with doctors and health practitioners of the area, however, could not be held after senior police officers and personnel were summoned to prevent members of the Katchi Rabita Committee from marching towards the CM’s House.

DSP Mehmoodabad Saeed Rind told The News that they were investigating the issue and had summoned all the doctors and maternity home owners to ascertain if any of them had dumped the foetuses, preserved in formaldehyde, at a garbage dump in Sector-E of Akhtar Colony.

The police official said they would never let the perpetrators of the crime go free and, sooner or later, they would uncover the persons behind the heinous act. Five foetuses, all female and varying in age between three to nine months, were found at a garbage dump in Akhtar Colony.

Dr Suresh Kumar, head of the provincial government inquiry committee, formulated by Dr Sagheer Ahmed to probe the issue, said the police were investigating the issue and they were awaiting the outcome of the investigations. Dr Kumar said they still believed that these foetuses were preserved for educational purposes and then thrown away by the careless staff of some laboratory or educational institution but the exact situation could only be ascertained after police investigations. On the other hand, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) remained unmoved, though the issue of hospital or biological waste falls within its ambit.

Most of the leading public and private hospitals in the city are notorious for dumping their extremely hazardous waste, including used disposable equipment, removed body tissues, infectious waste, and other stuff as ordinary waste.

The Sindh High Court (SHC), in its directives last year, had directed the Sepa and other concerned departments to direct the hospitals in the city to dispose of their waste as per national and international guidelines regarding hospital waste management but these directives were not heeded.

“If you go to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre or Civil the Hospital Karachi, you see hospital waste — blood-soaked bandages and swabs, used syringes, and other infectious stuff — lying inside and around these health facilities,” said Dr Amir Shahzad, an expert on hospital waste management and bioethics.

Dr Shahzad said most of the hospitals dump their waste as domestic waste. He said disposal of hospital waste was an extremely important environmental issue but unfortunately, the provincial environmental watchdog was unmoved when it came to enforcing the relevant laws.

Source: The News