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Dushanbe, 02 March, 2021 – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in cooperation with the Ministry of health and social protection of the population (MHSPP), has presented the results of the comprehensive assessment of medical waste management practices and capacities in 15 hospitals and four laboratories in Dushanbe, Khatlon and Regions of Republican Subordination (RRS). The assessment was launched in November 2020 with the aim to analyze impact of COVID-19 pandemic on health care waste management system in the country and potential adverse environmental impact.

“We hope this evidence will enable Government, civil society, the private sector to work more closely together in addressing medical waste management and align national regulatory and procedural frameworks to international conventions and regulations on public health and environmental protection.  We also hope that development partners will continue supporting the Government of Tajikistan in mitigating COVID-19’s impact on the environment and help build forward better,” UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Tajikistan Christophoros Politis says.

According to the report, key areas for improving the country’s medical waste management system chain include modernization of regulatory frameworks, provision of capacity building and training on medical waste management for healthcare workers, and introduction of Best Available Technologies (BAT) on medical waste disposal. The evaluators have noted that the existing incinerators in some rural hospitals have been inherited from the Soviet times and have not been upgraded since.

The pandemic has revealed that Tajikistan’s Sanitary Rules of Safe Handling of Medical Waste need to be modernized for better regulation of waste management, particularly at times of emergency situations, in the most efficient manner both from epidemiological and environmental aspects. UNDP works jointly with the government, civil society, and other partners to upgrade the regulatory norms for vaccination and medical waste disposal normative rules.

This year, in close cooperation with the health ministry, public organization “Peshsaf”, and other stakeholders, UNDP plans to provide trainings for 500 front-line health workers including nurses and waste handlers, introduce best available technologies and pilot different business models to promote public private partnerships.

Within this initiative, UNDP has already provided its contribution to the revised Sanitarian Rules on Safe Handling of Healthcare Waste (SanPin) through elaboration and development of additional chapters on waste generated during vaccinations and emergency situations. In January 2021 UNDP has also disseminated medical waste disposal appliances among hospitals in Dushanbe, Varzob, Rudaki, Gissar, Shahrinav, Tursun-zade, Faizobod and Vakhdat.

 

UNDP’s "Addressing COVID-19 Environmental hazards through improving medical waste management” project aims to support the Government of Tajikistan in enhancing healthcare waste management system and reduce human and environmental impact of the pandemic.

For more information please contact: Rukhshona Nazhmidinova, Communications Analyst, UNDP in Tajikistan (Tel.: +992 (44) 6005600, E-mail: Rukhshona.nazhmidinova@undp.org).

 

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