25 August 2020, Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan

25 August 2020, Nur-Sultan – Today the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has officially handed over the equipment for treatment of infectious waste (an autoclave) and containers for safe waste collection to the Nur-Sultan City Centre of Phthisiopulmonology, which had been redesigned to serve patients with COVID-19.

The initiative is implemented as part of the joint project of UNDP and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which aims to strengthen national public health emergency preparedness, focusing on medical waste management system in the hospitals. Globally, UNDP has supported 88 governments to procure personal protective equipment and medical commodities worth over $80 million.

«We are glad to support Kazakhstan in integrating sound waste management practices and technologies to accelerate sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Protecting people and rebuilding better are at core of our new partnership initiative with ADB,” said Yakup Beris, UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan.

With the onset of COVID-19 pandemic the volume of medical waste has sharply increased.According to the World Health Organization, almost 80 percent of all waste generated in medical institutions is solid based. The remaining 20 percent is hazardous and can be infectious, toxic or radioactive. Immediate disposal of medical waste inside hospitals can prevent the spread of an infection outside of the premises and decrease COVID-19 cases among health workers.

The coronavirus pandemic has put tremendous pressure on Kazakhstan’s healthcare system and highlighted the importance of properly managing hazardous medical waste. ADB and UNDP, capitalizing on their close relationship, are working together to strengthen medical waste disposal to help contain the spread of the virus in the country and protect the public,” – said Giovanni Capannelli, ADB Country Director for Kazakhstan.

It is expected that the new UNDP-ADB initiative will help design standard operation procedures for health workers and enhance their capacity to properly collect, sort, transport, dispose and monitor medical waste in hospitals. The project will also develop effective digital healthcare waste management database for all the regions of Kazakhstan. The new initiative is expected to lay the foundation for a sustainable medical waste management system not only under COVID-19 conditions, but also beyond.

The transfer of the equipment took place during the opening ceremony of the Center for safe collection and disposal of infected medical waste in the premises of the City Centre of Phthisiopulmonology . Representatives of UNDP, ADB, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and National Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Nur-Sultan Mayor’s Office took part in the event.

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