Sanitary Epidemiological Service in Sulukta switched to an eco-friendly heating system

January 15, 2021

Musratilla Iskanov, the director of the Sulukta Town Center for Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision. Photo: UNDP Kyrgyzstan.

Journalists met Musratilla Iskanov, director of the institution, when they arrived in the Sulukta Town Center for Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision. An inscription in huge Orkhon-Yenisei letters caught their eyes. Mr. Iskanov immediately responded that this is the manifestation of patriotism:

“I believe that this is the ancient Kyrgyz runic writing system. So do some foreign scholars. I have done some research on these runes. So, the center’s name is written in the Orkhon-Yenisei language as well”

The medical center’s two-story building was constructed 31 years ago. In recent years, we have revamped the roof, windows and doors, and also done thorough overhaul.

“The building was raised in Soviet times — in 1989. The building has been reconditioned to the European standards. We have changed the roof, windows, and doors. Although the condition of the building is satisfactory, some equipment has known better days. To name a few, the bacteriological laboratory,” said Mr. Iskanov taking me to the room at the very end of the building.

There we met Zebinsa Eshmurzayeva,  head of the bacteriological laboratory, and a laboratory assistant.

“Just the two of you? How do you keep up?”

“Yes, there are only two of us. Another lab assistant worked here, now she is on maternity leave. So, we need one more employee.” 

Previously, in the winter, the institution faced various problems. This year, thanks to the support of international organizations that installed several heating devices in the building, most of these problems are solved.

Zebinsa Eshmurzayeva: “People who brought material for testing or came for some other reason had to wait in the cold hall. We used a typical potbelly stove for heating. Of course, there was smoke in the rooms. We used electric appliances to heat the laboratory. Nevertheless, the rooms were cold. Thanks to these heat pumps, we have resolved many concerns.”

Musratilla Iskanov, the head epidemiologist of Sulukta, commented on the words of Zebinsa Eshmurzayeva, the head of bacteriological laboratory:

“Indeed, some rooms of the building were heated with the potbelly stove fueled by coal. It feels so much better and comfortable after the installation of air heat pumps within the UNDP-CREEED Energy Access SMEs Development Project and with the support of the OFID Fund. Such a heating system consumes a small amount of electricity, and it can provide the required indoor temperature in a short time.  These conditions have a positive impact on our specialists’ health. Earlier we couldn’t keep 18–22 degrees centigrade required for normal operation of the laboratory, but today the problem is solved. This contributes to more accurate results of tests, studies, and reactions, and ensures normal operation of the equipment.”

Air-to-air inverter heat pumps Mr. Iskanov talks about can keep warm air in the rooms in winter and cool air in hot summer. According to him, such conditions contribute to the most accurate test results in the Sulukta town laboratory.

“Accuracy of test results depends on three factors: proper operation of equipment; knowledge and literacy of specialists; microclimate in the laboratory, especially in the equipment room. Only the stable temperature range indicated above can minimize errors in the test results.”

Musratilla Iskanov, the head of the Sulukta Town Center for Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision, notes that now he is contacting relevant authorities to upgrade the outdated equipment.

The center holds 16 employees and conducts about 8,000 tests annually. It is mostly miners and teachers who use these professional services.

Musratilla Iskanov: “Parasitological, sanitary-hygienic and bacteriological laboratories all together conduct about 8,000 tests per year. Miners, employees of schools and kindergartens come to us for testing. In addition, we conduct infectious disease testing for the patients of the Sulukta Town Hospital.”

In recent years, people who went abroad or to other cities due to difficult life in the 90s, have begun to gradually return to the town of Sulukta located far in the south-east of Kyrgyzstan. According to the information provided by the Sulukta Mayor’s Office, the town’s population has grown by more than three thousand people just for one year and is currently 23,889 people.

The life of the town with 152-year history is closely related to coal mines. About 40 private coal pits are operating there to date.