On March 1, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finished the delivery of $102,334 worth of equipment to the Scientific and Practical Center for Sanitary and Epidemiologic Expertise and Monitoring (SPC SEEM) and the Central Reference Laboratory (CRL). The donated items include supplies for sample collection and transportation, laboratory plastic, and COVID-19 PCR test kits.
This is the third batch of supplies and equipment donated by the CDC to Kazakhstan as part of its effort to help the country combat COVID-19. In September and December, the CDC donated $316,000 and $480,000 worth of supplies and equipment to three Kazakhstani laboratories. The latest donation brings the total cost of CDC-donated items to $898,334.
“Laboratory work is an essential part of public health services in general and COVID-19 response in particular. We are proud to have partnered with Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health in this ongoing fight against the pandemic. The donated items will strengthen the country’s capacity to test for COVID-19 and will continue to help fight other infectious diseases when the current pandemic is over,” said CDC Central Asia Director Dr. Daniel Singer.
CDC Central Asia has been supporting Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Health since the beginning of the outbreak by organizing training and providing technical assistance on emergency operations, laboratory operations, infection prevention and control, screening at ports of entry, risk communication and community engagement, and disease surveillance. CDC has also been translating technical guidance documents published by leading international public health organizations into Russian for distribution among public health specialists in Kazakhstan.
In 2020, CDC Central Asia celebrated its 25th anniversary. The first CDC office in the region was opened in 1995 in Almaty. Today, the agency has staff stationed in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan supporting those countries’ ministries of health to train health workers, strengthen their health systems, and respond to COVID-19, HIV, tuberculosis, and other infectious disease epidemics.