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Infectious Medical Waste Disposal in Kazakhstan


STPBT-TI – Regulating Infectious Medical Waste Management to Protect Public Health and Enhance Biosafety in Kazakhstan

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-SFS/Biosafety and BioSecurity/Biotechnology
  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Savinova N V

Leading Institute
Scientific and Practical Center of Sanitary and Epidemiological Expertise and Monitoring, MoH of RK, MH of RK, Kazakstan, Almaty

Supporting institutes

  • National Biotechnology Center of Kazakstan / Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems, Kazakstan, Gvardeiski


  • Global Green USA , USA, Washington DC

Project summary

The objective of this project:

The goal of this project is to improve the infectious medical waste management regulations in Kazakhstan in order to protect local, national, regional, and international public health, enhance biosafety, and better prepare the biomedical infrastructure for emergency situations. This will be accomplished via three primary objectives:

  1. Develop and implement of rapid methods for determination the quality of waste decontamination and environmental samples;
  2. Develop recommendations on regulation improvement and alternative methods for medical waste decontamination;
  3. Initiate discussion among regional and international experts and national authorities on the implementation of these recommendations.

Current status. A large quantity of dangerous biological materials is stored in laboratories in Kazakhstan, including laboratory animals, anatomical materials, medical equipment and materials, contaminated by patients, etc. Kazakhstan has an established network of laboratories that work with dangerous pathogens such as plague, anthrax, tularemia, brucellosis, cholera, and hemorrhagic fever. There are around 100 of these laboratories. Of these, nearly 70 are located in rural areas, where decontamination requires special attention. Various healthcare facilities have established their own practices, which may not meet the necessary safety standards. This is especially true in rural areas where medical waste is often either burned in barrels or furnaces on the facility's grounds or disposed of at public-access landfills. There are the soil anthrax foci spreading on the area 2,136.549 sq. km (animal burial places, biothermal bunkers and other places). The latter present a biosafety threat to the community.

Healthcare facilities frequently face problems associated with storage and transport safety of on and off-site medical waste. While regulations exist that address the transportation and safe storage of medical waste, many facilities lack spaces to store their waste. As a result, they are unable to dispose of it regularly, leading to unsafe on-site accumulation. Additionally, the qualifications of transportation personnel are often questionable.

This problem had always been dealt with by the sanitation-epidemiology service, who were experienced in the procedures and technology that each type of medical waste required. But, the growing volume of medical waste, the changing requirements for its disposal, and the spread of hepatitis, tuberculosis, and HIV in the world require a reevaluation of the problem to meet the new requirements. Such an unregulated situation hampers the ability of the biomedical community to cope with a major outbreak. Therefore this problem needs to be seen in the framework of current international efforts to improve national emergency planning, first response and containment capabilities.

Competence of participants and publications in the given area. Participants of the project have significant experience of problems of biosafety, epidemiological and epizotology research, and developing medical wastes treatment systems.

The project’ influence on progress in this area. The carrying out of projects to systematize comprehensively and competently all data for an analyze the existing practices and regulations that address medical waste management in Kazakhstan compared to international experience for improving medical waste management.

Expected Results and Their Application:

  1. Evaluation of existing systems of medical waste management.
  2. List of facilities and categories of medical waste they manage.
  3. Number and category of the facilities under study
  4. Analysis of biosafety measures in place.
  5. List of equipment used for medical waste decontamination
  6. Develop recommendations on regulation improvement and alternative methods for medical waste decontamination.
  7. Preparation of recommendations to improve existing medical waste management regulations

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives:
  • To grant an opportunity for scientists working with the weapon and experts to focus their activity toward a peaceful purposes.
  • To improve detection, containment, and response measures to selected pathogens.
  • To develop the forecast and monitoring system of anticipate and prevent disasters.
  • To support applied researches and development of technologies with the purposes for maintenance of biological safety.
  • To develop a database necessary for knowledge based decisions of national and international problems that address epidemiological well-being and biological threads with appropriate actions.

Scope of Activities:
  • Analyse existing regulations of the medical wastes treatment and international experience and practices of medical waste management.
  • The project participants of SPCSEEM will attends regional healthcare institutions, infection hospitals, bacteriological laboratory for control of medical wastes treatment.
  • Collection, processing and analysis of information on technical condition, technological processes of medical wastes treatment, its keeping, transportation, biosafety measures.
  • The group of project researchers will develop a special package of documents for obtaining appropriate information which will serve as a basis for the development of the existing regulations in Republic of Kazakhstan.
  • We are planning to carry out data collection on subcategories and volume of Medical Waste in Kazakhstan, analyze storage, transport safety of on- and off-site medical waste, the working condition regulations for people handling and processing medical wastes, identify the packaging system and the waste-disposal containers.
  • Developing and implementation of control rapid techniques of decontamination proccess.
  • results presentation to the international scientific community.

Role of Foreign Collaborators/Partners:
  • Participation in the development of project proposal and work plan.
  • Evolution the existing regulations in Republic of Kazakhstan and international experience and practices of medicalwaste management.
  • Consultations on methods of biochemical and microbiological control of the medical wastes treatment.
  • Assist in developing recommendations on appropriate equipment and alternative methods of medical wastes treatment.
  • Consultation on medical wastes disposal in city, rural area and field conditions.
  • Review technical reports.

Technical Approach and Methodology:
  • Will be prepared an overview of international regulatory instruments of medical infectious waste disposal, using advanced technologies, and will be conducted comparison the regulations for medical waste disposal in Kazakhstan.
  • For the first time in selected healthcare institutions, which accumulate the largest volume of infectious medical waste, will be studied conditions for temporary storage of various categories of waste before transferring its to the special area of facilities.
  • Particular attention will be paid to methods of infectious medical waste decontamination, to decontaminated medical waste transportation on the waste disposal place of settlements.
  • For all stages of infectious medical waste processing of will be marked the quality of the documentation and qualification of employees.
  • We plan to organize in Almaty an international roundtable discussion of medical waste management problems in Kazakhstan for services which provide for medical waste disposal.
  • The project research team will prepare recommendations for improving of the existing infectious medical waste regulations in Kazakhstan.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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