EBL and icddr,b partners for sustainable healthcare waste management benefiting health and environment

Eastern Bank PLC (EBL) and icddr,b have joined forces in a pioneering initiative to advance healthcare waste management through sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. The partnership was formalised with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at EBL's head office in Dhaka on 24 January 2024. 
The new partnership with Eastern Bank PLC will enable icddr,b to establish a state-of-the-art solid biohazardous waste treatment facility. This facility will be equipped with advanced waste sterilizers and shredders, allowing for the complete decontamination and destruction of biohazardous polymer products. This initiative paves the way for recycling polymer materials, thereby converting waste into an asset and significantly reducing environmental impact of waste management.
Dr Shams El Arifeen, Acting Executive Director and Senior Director, Maternal & Child Health Division at icddr,b, expressed his gratitude to EBL by stating, "This collaboration with Eastern Bank PLC is a testament to the importance of corporate responsibility in fostering sustainable healthcare practices. It marks a crucial step towards a more eco-friendly approach in healthcare waste management."
Ali Reza Iftekhar, Managing Director and CEO of EBL said, ‘Solid biohazardous medical waste poses a significant challenge for Bangladesh and the management of medical waste is still in its early stages. We are very happy to partner with icddr,b in this timely initiative. As a responsible corporate, we are committed to environmental sustainability and public health.’
The partnership also includes developing and updating icddr,b's policies and SOPs in line with sustainable practices. The project aims to promote similar initiatives across Bangladesh, with icddr,b hosting workshops and seminars to share its expertise in sustainable waste management with healthcare leaders and government officials.
This collaboration between EBL and icddr,b is more than an environmental initiative; it's a commitment to a healthier, more sustainable future for Bangladesh.
While icddr,b currently adheres to the most sophisticated waste management practices available in the country, the existing methods, primarily incineration, are not entirely environment friendly. Incinerating polymers leads to resource loss and increases the demand for polymer production. Recognising this challenge, icddr,b has continually sought to identify and implement sustainable waste management solutions. 
Ali Reza Iftekhar, Managing Director & CEO; Ahmed Shaheen, Additional Managing Director and Ziaul Karim, Head of Communications & External Affairs from EBL; Dr Shams El Arifeen, Acting Executive Director and Senior Director, Maternal & Child Health Division; Dr Asadulghani, Head, Biosafety, Biorepository and Containment Lab; Dr Md. Fazlul Kabir, Head, Clinical and Diagnostic Services and Armana Ahmed, Head, Development from icddr,b and other senior officials from both organisations were present on the occasion.