Closure and handover Ceremony of the “SSCAF COVID-19 Regional Project: Learning from China’s Experience to Improve the Ability of Response to COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific Region - Medical Waste Management”

Remarks by Ms. Alissar Chaker, UNDP Resident Representative

March 30, 2023
©Leanghorng Pheng/UNDP Cambodia

H.E. Prof. Sea Huong, Secretary of State, Ministry of Health

H.E. Prof. Ngy Meng, Consultant to the Ministry of Health and Director of Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

H.E. Dr. Sok Srun, Consultant to the Ministry of Health and Director of Hospital Services

Mr. Wang Peng, First Secretary and Project Executive Officer of China Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Colleagues from WHO Cambodia, the World Bank, and Asian Development Bank

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, friends and colleagues,


I am delighted to participate today at the closing and handover ceremony of the COVID-19 Regional Project: Learning from China’s Experience to Improve the Ability of Response to COVID-19 in Asia and the Pacific Region, focusing on Medical Waste Management in Cambodia. Let me begin by congratulating the Royal Government of Cambodia and particularly the Ministry of Health for their remarkable work in limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Kingdom. My sincere thanks go also to the People’s Republic of China for the generous support and solidarity with the people of Cambodia in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the generous contribution of the China South-South Cooperation Fund to the project.

Today, we officially conclude the project and handover essential equipment to ensure safe hospital solid waste management that reduces occupational and public health hazards and protects medical staff, the public and the environment, and particularly from the hazards of waste generated from COVID-19 diagnostics and treatment. The achievement of results would not have been possible without our partners, thus, allow me to take this opportunity to also thank the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and the Asia Development Bank for their insights and complementary efforts during the project implementation and beyond.

Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, ladies, and gentlemen,

The COVID-19 outbreak created new challenges for the safe treatment of infectious medical waste, in terms of quantities and hazards. The project contributed to ensure that COVID-19-related medical waste is managed properly and safely, taking into account the need to protect people and the environment.

In partnership with Ministry of Health and WHO, a user-friendly practical guide for medical waste management was developed along with relevant communication material for awareness raising and education on medical waste management flowchart, medical waste categories, and segregation of various medical waste streams. This was complemented by the development of a training module on medical waste management that was applied in a series of trainings provided to 155 healthcare workers (of whom 50% are women) to develop capacities and enhance their knowledge on safe medical waste management. The development of these resources benefitted from in-country consultation and inputs by regional experts including from Chinese Medical Waste Experts facilitated by UNDP Office in China.

To facilitate the practical implementation of the guide and accelerating he application of safe hospital solid waste management, the project provided the latest technology for medical waste disposal to the main national hospitals in Phnom Penh (the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital and the National Pediatric Hospital),  for steam sterilization and shredding of infectious waste, besides other equipment and materials provided to the above-mentioned hospitals in Phnom Penh and to four provincial referral hospitals in Battambang, Preah Vihear, Svay Rieng, and Koh Kong provinces, such as laundry machines, reusable containers, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitization products.

UNDP appreciates the trust of the Royal Government and feels privileged to be part of the joint effort under the leadership of the Ministry of Health for combatting and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continue supporting the Ministry in its prevention and preparedness efforts for potential future shocks and for strengthening the resilience of the national health system.

In closure, I would like to wish you all a very happy Khmer New Year.  Suo-sday Chnam Thmei!

Thank you.