Contaminated pathogens, chemical and radioactive substances and medical waste pose serious public health and environmental risks, and medical waste management must be improved, according to a Green Cross-backed project, the results of which were presented 28 March 2014 during the 5th annual Conference of Biological Safety Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus (BACAC) in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
In 2011, Green Cross International’s Environmental Security and Sustainablity Programme initiated the two-year project, Regulating Infectious Medical Waste Management to Protect Public Health and Enhance Biosafety in Kazakhstan, which was co-funded by Green Cross Switzerland and the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
BACAC is a regional coordinating body and biosafety/biosecurity knowledge distribution institution promoting best practice and standards among members and encouraging dialogue on emerging public health issues.
Sponsored by the European Union, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Canada through collaboration with the ISTC, the BACAC event focused on bio-risk management at the workplace, global disease surveillance, bioethics and international guidelines.
- Studied international experience in regards to medical waste management, including an October 2013 visit to Washington DC medical institutions, hosted by Green Cross.
- Published the first practical guidelines, “Organization of collection, decontamination, temporary storage and disposal of medical waste,” in Kazakhstan.
- Developed an organizational chart of medical waste flow and distribution of responsibilities and drafted guidelines for a chief specialist responsible for waste management at a health care institution.
- Established a database with characteristics of various classes of medical waste, equipment for storage of treated waste and disposal of treated medical waste, landfills, and training programs.
- Prepared a training program on medical waste management.
- Conducted a seminar for the medical community on medical waste management issues.