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Health Care | Sixth Network - Page 10

Health Care

GGHH Webinar Series | Internationally Recognized Architect, Robin Guenther, to Present Buildings Guidance Document

On March 11th, Robin Guenther, leading international expert in sustainable healthcare design, Senior Advisor to Health Care Without Harm and the "#1 Most Influential Designer in Healthcare" according to Healthcare Design magazine will be giving two webinars on Green Design and Construction of Hospitals, together experts from South Africa, Taiwan and Australia, as part of GGHH's Global Webinar Series.

Launched in January 2015, GGHH's Global Webinar Series follows the 10 sustainability goals set out in the GGHH Agenda. These one hour webinars provide opportunities for members from around the globe to come together to learn and share experiences. 


GGHH Launches Buildings Guidance Document for Members

Robin is also the lead author of the soon to debut Buildings Guidance Document for GGHH members. This comprehensive resource details how health care leaders can make the changes needed to reduce their energy consumption, use environmentally sustainable and healthy building products and minimize the environmental impacts of their facilities.

GGHH will release this document in conjunction with the webinars on March 11th in GGHH Connect, a powerful multilingual Internet platform that allows members from around the world to meet, teach, and learn from each other’s experiences. Download a sample to learn more.

Table of Contents

Learn more about GGHH

March 5, 2015Global

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HCWH and HECAF Present on Sustainability in Health Care in Nepal

Plymouth, UK | Accompanied by Ruth Stringer, HCWH International Science and Policy Coordinator, Mahesh Nakarmi - founder and director of the HCWH's Strategic Partner in Nepal - the Health Care Foundation Nepal (HECAF) participated and presented in a meeting on Sustainability and Health Research Group at the University of Plymouth. Nakarmi was invited to share his pioneering multi-dimensional approach to health care waste management in Kathmandu.

During his presentation Nakarmi described and illustrated HECAF's unique work in recycling, reusing and/or reselling up to 80% of all waste generated by the hospitals HECAF serves. This work is today recognised by the World Health Organisation as a model of appropriate technology for other developing countries to follow.

Nakarmi also discussed the unique problems of health care waste in Nepal, and HECAF's commitment to non-burn technology, given that the Kathmandu Valley suffers exceedingly high levels of air pollution.

This presentation was also accompanied by Russ Pariseau, who has captured the work of Mr Nakarmi in a number of documentary films (click here to see the video or see below).

About HECAF's work

HECAF uses autoclaves to disinfect plastics contaminated with blood and bodily fluids before recycling. Anaerobic digestion is at the heart of their programme for processing organic wastes, including some pathological waste. The resultant methane is used for cooking and, in some cases, to operate electricity generators. Nepal suffers enormously from extended power cuts - reaching 18 hours per day in the dry season.

HECAF also uses earthworms to recycle infected bandages and surgical dressings. Expired pharmaceuticals are dealt with in environmentally safe ways and the product packaging is also recycled. 2 million out-of-date condoms were turned into automobile tyres.

HECAF has even turned some non-recyclable waste into revenue producing physical therapy tools in the Burn Unit of Kathmandu’s Bir Hospital.

Nakarmi and HECAF have converted most Kathmandu hospitals to mercury free thermometers and sphygmomanometers. While the world attempts to come to an agreement about what to do with mercury, HECAF has created the only storage facility in Nepal for disused products containing mercury.

Video | Health Care Waste Management at Bir Hospital

Video by Russ Pariseau.

Health Care Waste Mamgement at Bir Hospital Kathmandu 3 min from 


March 3, 2015Global

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HCWH to Present and Launch Database of Healthcare Waste Treatment Technologies at WHO Meeting

Geneva - On February 23-24, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN) will be meeting to launch the new WHO policy on Injection Safety.  Every year, SIGN meets to facilitate collaboration and synergies among participants of the safe injection global network. This year, the Director General of the WHO will be presenting the new policy on Injection Safety, which calls for health systems to use only injection devices with needlestick injury and reuse prevention features in health services. 

As part of this event, Ruth Stringer, Health Care Without Harm’s (HCWH) International Science and Policy Coordinator will report on the waste management implications of the new policy, and the starting of the WHO/HCWH/UNDP/GEF Global Healthcare Waste Project in Africa that will demonstrate model health-care waste management and best environmental practices.  These best practices will include non-incineration healthcare waste treatment and mercury-free technologies and ensure the availability and affordability of non-incineration waste treatment technologies in the region.

Stringer will also present and demonstrate HCWH’s new global Healthcare Waste Treatment Technologies Database. 

The database has been created to aid hospitals and health systems in the procurement of appropriate technologies, and lists suppliers from around the world of non-incineration technologies, such as autoclaves, different steam and heat based technologies, and chemical based technologies to treat infectious wastes and destroy pathological wastes and laboratory cultures.  It also includes equipment such as needle or syringe destroyers that can help prevent needlestick injuries. Information about each vendor includes contact details, countries where equipment is

The database aims to “reduce carbon emissions, particulate air pollution and prevent releases of carcinogenic dioxins and furans as called for by the Stockholm Convention”, said Stringer.  The database can be found at: www.medwastealternatives.org

Susan Wilburn, Sustainability Director of Global Green and Healthy Hospitals – a project of HCWH - will also be chairing one of the panels.  She said: "HCWH celebrates this historic event which will support health workers to do their job more safely and effectively for their patients and their own health."

Mahesh Nakarmi, Director of the Healthcare Waste Management program of HCWH’s Strategic Partner, Health Care Foundation Nepal (HECAF)will present their work to manage injection waste effectively. 

HECAF has been developing the medical waste management system at the country’s oldest major hospital, the 460 bed Bir Hospital in Kathmandu, since 2010. Thanks to their intervention, the hospital is now almost completely mercury free and is autoclaving the infectious waste from the wards and chemically deactivating cytotoxic pharmaceutical waste.  While HECAF led the project, HCWH has worked closely with them and provided technical expertise on issues from validating the disinfection processes, reporting, biodigestion and chemical disposal.


Learn more

Contact Information


February 23, 2015Global

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World’s Public Health Leaders Call for an End to Coal

Media release – 16th February 2015 (GMT)

KOLKATA – At the close of their international conference in Kolkata, as part of a broad “Call to Action for Public Health,” the world’s public health associations advocated “a rapid phase-out of coal” to limit further global warming and prevent illnesses and deaths associated with air pollution.

The Healthy Energy Initiative welcomed the Call to Action released at the World Congress on Public Health, hosted by the Indian Public Health Association and attended by more than 1,600 delegates. The Call to Action points to the “contribution of fossil fuels and coal in particular to climate change as well as to detrimental impacts on the health and wellbeing of local communities.”

The statement is one of the strongest yet to emerge from the global public health community on action to limit fossil fuel use, calling for a rapid phase out of coal for electricity production, divestment from fossil fuels and a transition to renewable energy as an “investment in global health and healthy communities.”

President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Dr Mengistu Asnake said the emphasis on fossil fuels as drivers of climate change and risks to community health in the statement “highlights their contribution to a massive burden of illness and death worldwide.”

“Millions of lives are at risk from climate change and the carbon intensive global economy,” Dr Asnake said, citing World Health Organization figures that seven million people die every year from air pollution, of which coal is significant contributor.

Healthy Energy Initiative global coordinator Jennifer Wang said the Call to Action would help mobilise health professionals worldwide to advocate for a clean energy transition in their countries and communities.

“We know that safer, healthier energy choices to replace coal, oil and gas are available and increasingly affordable. This Call to Action highlights the health dimension of energy choices, and signals the growing involvement of the health sector around the world in advocating for clean air and a healthy climate,” Ms Wang said.

The Call to Action also warns against nuclear power and gas as alternatives to coal and oil, emphasising the need to commit to “sustainable and renewable energy technologies and not short term and potentially dangerous methods such as nuclear fission and hydraulic fracking.”

“Cutting our fossil fuel use is one of the most substantial contributions we can make as a global community to protecting and improving public health worldwide,” Ms Wang said.

“It also offers the chance for impoverished or isolated communities to regain control of their energy sources,” Dr Asnake said.

Download a full copy of the Kolkata Call to Action here.

For more information about the Healthy Energy Initiative, visit: www.healthyenergyinitiative.org/about

Media contact: Jennifer Wang, Healthy Energy Initiative global coordinator, [email protected], phone: +1 630 677 0390

February 16, 2015Global

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GGHH’s 2014 Annual Report Shows Health Care Leadership From Around the Globe

UntitledGlobal Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) is proud to announce the worldwide release of it 2014 Annual Progress Report.  Documenting the continued development and success of GGHH over the past year, the Annual Progress Report highlights key achievements while providing a view of goals and targets for the year to come.

The report showcases the accomplishments of GGHH members around the world to reduce the environmental footprint of their hospitals and protect the health of their surrounding communities and environment. It demonstrates the growth of both GGHH and the movement to transform the health sector worldwide.

"GGHH has grown into a robust and vibrant network of hospitals, health systems, and health organizations at the cutting edge of sustainable health care" says Scott Slotterback, GGHH Policy Director.  Over 470 members representing the interests of more than 9,500 hospitals and health centers from 32 countries on every continent have now joined GGHH, with that number continuing to grow each week.

In addition, it showcases the incredible accomplishments of GGHH members around the world to reduce the environmental footprint of their hospitals and protect the health of their surrounding communities and environment. Collectively, the Report shows the growth of both GGHH and the movement to transform the health sector worldwide.

Launched in 2011, GGHH is a project of Health Care Without Harm.

February 13, 2015Global

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Debut of the Healthy Energy Initiative at the 14th World Congress of Public Health


Led by Health Care Without Harm, the Healthy Energy Initiative is making its debut on February 10th-15th at the World Federation of Public Health Association’s 14th Trienniel World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) in Kolkata, India. The Healthy Energy Initiative aims to mobilize the health sector to play a central role advocating for a move away from fossil fuel-based power generation—particularly coal—and toward clean, renewable healthy energy options. Learn more at www.healthyenergyinitiative.org, and follow @healthyenergyi on Twitter.

At the World Congress on Public Health, the Healthy Energy Initiative will be exploring the nexus between climate change, energy generation, and public health in India and around the world through a set of scientific sessions, a photography exhibition, and film screenings. With a theme of “Healthy People, Healthy Environment,” this World Congress is an ideal forum for raising awareness about the health threats and health costs of unhealthy energy, and for mobilizing public health professionals around the world to call for clean energy and climate action.


Events at the World Congress on Public Health

Download the schedule of events at the World Congress on Public Health in which the Healthy Energy Initiative will take part, or see the following list:

  • Climate Change, Air Quality and Health: Impacts of Energy Choices

When | Tuesday, 10 February 2015, 9:30-13:00

Where | SN Bose Hall

About | Public health researchers, policymakers, educators, and students will engage in a critical dialogue on the health impacts of energy choices in India.

Keynote speaker | EAS Sarma, Former Power Secretary, Government of India


  • Health Impacts of Energy Choices: The Scientific and Economic Basis

When | Saturday, 14 February 2015, 13:30-15:00

Where | Grand Theatre

About | Public health leaders from Australia, India, South Africa, and the United States will discuss the public health impacts of energy generation and identify approaches to secure energy from more sustainable, healthier processes.


  • Public Health Advocacy on Energy

When | Saturday, 14 February 2015, 15:30-17:00

Where | Grand Theatre

About | Public health advocates from around the world will share experiences of health sector leadership in addressing the health impacts of energy choices and advocating for clean, renewable energy in order to protect and promote public health.


  • Photography

When | Mid-day of 11 February onward

Where | Lobby of Grand Theatre

About | A glimpse of the lives and livelihoods of coal fenceline communities in India, by an award-winning documentary photographer.

  • Film

When | Friday, 13 Feb, 16:30-17:30; Saturday, 14 Feb, 12:00-13:30; Sunday, 15 Feb, 12:00-13:00

Where | Exhibition Hall

About | A series of captivating short films and videos exploring the nexus of climate, energy, and health:

- The Human Cost of Power (Australia)

- Unhealthy Energy: Coal and the Burden of Disease (South Africa)

- Red Carriage Advertisements for Clean Air (Kosovo and United States)

February 10, 2015Global

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West Africa | Autoclaves Deployed to Help Anti-Ebola Campaign

As efforts to stem the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continue, a new design of autoclave is being deployed to help make the treatment of infectious waste safe environmentally sustainable.

Jorge Emmanuel (left), Chief Technical Expert from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) Global Healthcare Waste Project and co-designer of the new autoclave design, and Johan Hoffman (right), Managing Director and Chief Engineer of the Medi-Clave company that co-designed and produced the autoclave. Treating patients with Ebola generates huge amounts of infectious waste, including the used suits that the healthcare workers use to protect themselves while they work. In a lot of treatment centers, the only option has been to burn the waste in barrels, bury it in pits, or use low-tech incinerators which emit a huge amount of pollutants and create toxic ash. In contrast, autoclaves are far more environmentally friendly. They use high temperature and pressure steam to disinfect the waste. All that is needed is water and electrical power. No pollutants are created, and autoclaving has a much smaller carbon footprint that burning or incinerating.

Autoclaves as a Solution

The new autoclaves have been designed by the South African company Medi-Clave, working with Jorge Emmanuel, Chief Technical Expert from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF) Global Healthcare Waste Project, in which WHO and Health Care Without Harm were Principal Cooperating Agencies (www.gefmedwaste.org).

Starting in early 2015, HCWH will be working with UNDP and WHO on a new GEF-funded project, which will disseminate non-incineration waste treatment technologies in four African countries- Ghana, Madagascar, Tanzania and Zambia. Lessons learned during this deployment of autoclaves in the Ebola Treatment Units will be valuable for this new project.

Conditions in Africa can be tough on machinery, so the new autoclave has a number of special adaptations to avoid breakdowns. For example, the electronic control systems that control modern autoclaves have been replaced with an older but more robust method of mechanical controls. The autoclave also comes with a metal drum to collect the waste, and a trolley to carry it. These allow the users to collect, transport, load and unload the waste safely and with the minimum effort.

Installing the Autoclaves

The first two autoclaves have been installed in Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) in Sierra Leone. Another 8 will be installed in February and others sent to Liberia and Guinea, the countries most affected by the worst ever Ebola outbreak. In total, 30 autoclaves will be installed.

When the outbreak is over, these machines will be moved to hospitals to treat the healthcare waste that they generate and strengthen the health systems for years to come.

More information

Photo Description

Jorge Emmanuel (left), and Johan Hoffman (right), co-designers of the new autoclave, with one of the first units to be produced. Dr Emmanuel is Chief Technical Expert from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF)/World Health Organization (WHO)/Health Care Without Harm Globa Healthcare Waste Project. Johan Hoffman (right) is Managing Director and Chief Engineer of the Medi-Clave company that co-designed and produces the autoclaves. 

January 19, 2015Global

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