Cambodia launches China-aided project to support COVID-19 medical waste management

(Xinhua) 13:51, June 08, 2021

PHNOM PENH, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has launched a new project to manage medical waste during the COVID-19 pandemic with China's financial and technical support through the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund (SSCAF), said a joint press statement on Monday.

Amid its largest outbreak of COVID-19 to date, Cambodia faces the challenge to properly and safely handle the treatment of the infectious medical waste, the statement said.

The country currently has limited stock of personal protective equipment and full sets of equipment for managing waste and wastewater, and lacks the expertise and experience required to manage infectious waste.

In response to these needs, the SSCAF-funded project, Learning from China's Experience to Improve the Ability of Response to COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific Region on Medical Waste Management, will work with the three Phnom Penh-based medical facilities originally designated for COVID-19 treatment, the statement said.

The main components of the project include provision of the full set of equipment for medical waste collection, segregation and treatment, as well as personal protective equipment, and capacity building and training to enable healthcare workers and service providers to manage infectious solid waste and wastewater properly and safely, it said.

UNDP will work closely with the three medical facilities, the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, Chak Angre Health Center, and National Pediatric Hospital, in addition to the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and medical waste management experts from China, it added.

"Through UNDP Cambodia, the Government of the People's Republic of China has provided 12 sets of medical waste management equipment to strengthen medical waste management capabilities in Cambodia," Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng said.

He said the project is crucial to helping Cambodia to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"This project is an epitome of what China is contributing to the international development cooperation during the pandemic of COVID-19," Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian said.

"Executed under the South-South cooperation framework, this project reflects China's commitment to joining hands with Cambodia to fight against COVID-19 until victory is achieved," he said. "It also sends a strong signal that unity and cooperation are the international community's most potent weapon to overcome the pandemic."

Wang said that with the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, China will continue sharing its experience in pandemic control and treatment, and work with other countries in the interests of regional and global public health security.

"This project comes at a critical time for Cambodia," Nick Beresford, UNDP Cambodia's resident representative, said.

"Ensuring the country's urban centers can safely and effectively handle the treatment of medical waste during the pandemic is a key part of continued efforts to control the spread of the virus and its impact on Cambodia and its people," he added.

The project is a part of the SSCAF COVID-19 regional project, which spans across five countries in the Asia Pacific.

(Web editor: Guo Wenrui, Liang Jun)


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