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Amount of medical waste on rise in Kyrgyzstan

A large amount of medical waste is generated in Kyrgyzstan, and their volumes are constantly growing, the Ministry of Health said.

«They are dangerous epidemiologically, since they contain pathogenic microorganisms. In case of improperly organized circulation system, medical waste can pollute the air, soil, groundwater, contribute to generation and transfer of infectious agents not only in hospital areas where containers for temporary storage of waste are placed, but also in the vicinity of urban dumpsites," the ministry notes.

«Despite the collection, storage, transportation and disposal of medical waste in accordance with regulatory requirements, the state of affairs in this area remains unresolved and poses a threat to human and the environment. In addition, the issue of rationing and disposal of waste remains unresolved. In this connection, there is no fundamental decision on their decontamination," the Ministry of Health added.

To solve the issue, a draft government decree «On Approval of Rules for Waste Management and Work with Mercury-Containing Products in Health Organizations of the Kyrgyz Republic" was prepared.

According to WHO, about 85 percent of medical waste is classified as non-hazardous and only about 25 percent of waste can be considered hazardous.

Up to 3 million (8.5 percent) of health workers in the world are exposed to skin wounds each year with the potential opportunity for the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms. The risk of infection from a patient as a result of accidental needle pricking is 0.2–0.4 percent for HIV infection, 3–10 percent for hepatitis C and 27–37 percent for hepatitis B.

«A special problem in this respect is the practice of putting a cap on the used needle. The largest number of random jabs occurs when putting a protective cap on the used syringe needle. According to surveys conducted among nurses, the main reason for the spread of such practices is the lack of proper conditions for the disposal of used needles (there are no needle destructors and / or containers for used syringes, needles and others)," the Ministry of Health noted.