Centre for Occupational & Environmental Health at Maulana Azad Medical College has been set up to address the growing concerns and hazards related to environment and health. With rising pollution at workplace and in community, the health professionals have an onerous responsibility to inform policy makers, educate stakeholders and undertake management of occupational and environmental illness.
The Centre intends to develop the specialty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) in India. The OEM is a thriving medical discipline in North America, Europe and Japan.
The centre has been acknowledged by International institutions and prestigious organizations such as WHO and ILO. The Centre has an agenda for creating a safe workplace and healthful environment. The Centre has plans for educating and training physicians in occupational health; the Centre started a post graduate certificate course, i.e. Associate Fellowship in Industrial Health (AFIH) with the approval of DGFASLI.
Education of physicians and other health care workers in bio-medical waste management: though not mandatory under the Biomedical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998 notified by the Govt. of India under Environment (Protection) Act goes a long way in creating awareness about health safety issues in hospitals. This has become imperative due to increasing incidence of HIV. Managing of hepatitis B and C patients creates risk to the health and safety of hospital workers. The Centre is organizing training for physicians, nursing staff, technicians and other supportive staff on biomedical waste management.
Injury surveillance and prevention; a document of Union ministry of health and World Bank expressed serious concern at the disease burden consequent upon increasing vehicular traffic. The Centre is collaborating in research activities with many national and international organizations. The Centre brings out a news bulletin on occupational and environmental health, undertake studies to generate urgently needed data on adverse impact of environmental and occupational exposures.
The centre is contemplating up on for starting a course in occupational and environmental health for nurses, and undertakes health assessment of industrial workers in Delhi as mandated by the Factories Act 1948. COEH has been acknowledged by International Labour Office (Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and safety IV volume). To fulfil its objectives and attain goals, the Centre functions through a society which provides autonomy, flexibility and quick decision making in implementing its plan of action.