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Health Care | Sixth Network - Page 5

Health Care

Strength From Disaster on the Anniversary of Nepal Earthquake

One year on from the devastating Gorkha Earthquake in Nepal, which killed more that 8,000 people, injured 22,000 and damaged or destroyed some thousand hospitals or healthcare centres, Health Care Without Harm, with strategic partner Health Care Foundation Nepal (HECAF), and Tzu Chi Foundation (Taiwan), are organising a conference to disseminate lessons learned over the last twelve months and develop strategies to increase the resilience of the healthcare sector against similar events in the future.

“Building hospitals and healthcare centers that can serve us in the worst of times takes skills in many disciplines so we are bringing together national and international experts with diverse experience to help create a stronger system for all,” Mahesh Nakarmi, director of Health Care Foundation Nepal’s Waste Management Project.

The conference, “Strength from Disaster: Lessons from the Gorkha earthquake and other global crises as catalysts to create a resilient healthcare system” has been organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Association of Private Health Institution Nepal, Association of Non-Government Hospitals and the World Health Organization, and will be held at the Hotel Annapurna, Kathmandu, Nepal on 26th and 27th April 2016 (14th and 15th Baisakh 2073).

Experts from Nepali and international organisations will participate to share their knowledge and lead the debate on the way forward to a stronger and more robust global health system. Waste management, water, sanitation, building design and energy systems are all critical to creating a system that can allow the healthcare professionals to continue treating patients safely in the face of disasters of all types.

In response to the humanitarian emergency, the community of hospitals in Global Green and Healthy Hospitals raised funds in support of HECAF’s efforts to maintain and rebuild critical healthcare waste management systems. Lessons learned from these initiatives will be presented at the conference and conclusions from the conference delegates’ discussions will be published.

Health Care Without Harm International Science and Policy Coordinator, Ruth Stringer, said, “In the aftermath of a disaster, be it an earthquake or a climate-related event, the demand on our health services is at its greatest, yet the system itself can also be severely impacted. I was immensely proud to see how well the waste management systems at our partner hospitals coped during the crisis and thought it was important to share their stories so that others could learn from them.”

Mahesh Nakarmi, director of Health Care Foundation Nepal’s Waste Management Project, said “Building hospitals and healthcare centers that can serve us in the worst of times takes skills in many disciplines so we are bringing together national and international experts with diverse experience to help create a stronger system for all.”

Photos

Map of the Gorkha earthquake and aftershocks.  Credit: US Geological Survey.  

Hospital patients being treated in tents.  Even when hospitals were not seriously damaged, they were treated outside because of the risk of aftershocks Credit: Stringer/HCWH

HECAF director Mahesh Nakarmi surveys the damage in historic Kathmandu Durbar Square.  Credit: Stringer/HCWH

Displaced residents living in tents in historic Kathmandu Durbar Square.  Credit: Stringer/HCWH

Healthcare waste worker collecting infectious waste for treatment at a major Kathmandu hospital.  Waste generation more than doubled in the days after the earthquake.  Credit: Stringer/HCWH

More Information

  • Nepal | Safe Waste Management Taking Shape at Hospitals. Read article
  • The Biofuel Autoclave: A Low Cost, Non-electric Solution to Infectious Medical Waste. Read article
  • Nepal | Hospital Implements Safe Medical Waste Disposal Treatments. Read article
  • Nepal | Bir Hospital Transforms its Healthcare Waste Management (see video)

     

Kathmandu — Since 2010, Health Care Foundation Nepal (HECAF) and Health Care Without Harm, supported by the World Health Organisation, have been working with the leadership and staff of Bir Hospital to transform their healthcare waste management.  more

April 25, 2016Global

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Australia | New Report Calls to Divest from Climate Changing Fossil Fuel Investments

HCWH Strategic Partner in Australia, the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and Doctors for the Environment, Australia released a joint report: Investing in Health. It urges Australia’s more than 600,000 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, as well as health organizations and health superannuation funds to quit their investments in coal, gas, and oil because of the serious harms fossil fuels pose to human health.

The report calls on health practitioners to withdraw investments from fossil fuels, a major contributors to air pollution and climate change. It highlights the strong relative performance of fossil-free investment portfolios and the financial risks to investment portfolios with coal, oil, and gas assets. However it emphasizes that it does not constitute financial product advice.

Written by Dr Nick Watts, the lead author of the landmark Health and Climate Commission published by The Lancet in 2015, with a foreword from Prof Nicholas Talley from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, this report moves fossil fuel divestment into the mainstream as an ethical, healthy, economically responsible choice.

Air pollution in Australia causes respiratory and cardiac diseases and is responsible for more than 3,000 deaths each year – more than twice the annual road toll. Globally, there are seven million premature deaths each year from air pollution.

 

April 18, 2016Global

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Philippines | HCWH-Asia Underscores Need for Health Impact Assessment of Energy Choices

As part of the Healthy Energy Initiative, Health Care Without Harm - Asia hosted a workshop on conducting Health Impact Assessments (HIA) for energy policies and projects.

“The HIA process seeks to predict the nature and magnitude of a policy, plan, or project’s downstream impacts on health,” said Dr. Linda Rudolph, one of the workshop speakers who currently serves as director of the Center for Climate Change and Public Health at the Public Health Institute in California. “Ultimately, HIA is one tool that can be helpful in influencing the outcome of the decision-making process”, she added.

“Energy policies and projects have huge implications for human health”, stated Jennifer Wang, global coordinator of the Healthy Energy Initiative, “and therefore HIA offers an opportunity for these health dimensions to be highlighted for consideration in decision-making.”

To read the full article, click here.

April 12, 2016Global

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South Africa | Launch of the groundWork Report 2015 on Climate and Energy

Source: groundWork (*)

The groundWork reports are published annually to examine the state of environmental justice in relation to particular themes.

The report is published on the start of the climate negotiations in Paris where a new treaty is supposed to be inked. It argues not only that the negotiations will not produce a result adequate to the challenge, but that the parties are looking for a dysfunctional climate regime. It opens with an account of the scale of emission reductions now required and a rapid survey of already dangerous climate impacts. It then gives a brief history of the negotiation process to account for how it has achieved ever more dismal outcomes. All countries have submitted pledges to the UNFCCC ahead of the Paris COP and the sum of them adds up to disaster.

South Africa is amongst the top 12 producers of carbon emissions. The report examines its submission, judged ‘inadequate’, and climate policy. For corporate South Africa, ‘inadequate’ translates into over-ambitious. Amongst their regular complaints is that climate and energy policy are not aligned. We agree. South Africa’s energy plans scarcely recognise its climate pledge and the Department of Energy is well aligned to the corporate view. The report looks at the long running power crisis and argues that it is not just Eskom that is failing. 

The model of development that has shaped South Africa over the last century is based on cheap coal, cheap labour and heavy duty pollution. It is now broken.

To download the report, click here.There is no certain outcome to the political battles of the next decades but it is certain that survival is at stake. The concluding section asks “whose survival?”

(*) groundWork is Health Care Without Harm’s Strategic Partner in South Africa and an environmental justice organization working with community people from around South Africa, and increasingly Southern Africa, on environmental justice and human rights issues focusing on Coal, Climate and Energy Justice, Waste and Environmental Health.

January 11, 2016Global

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South Africa | Launch of the 2015 groundWork Report on Climate and Energy

Source: groundWork (*)

The groundWork reports are published annually to examine the state of environmental justice in relation to particular themes.

The report is published on the start of the climate negotiations in Paris where a new treaty is supposed to be inked. It argues not only that the negotiations will not produce a result adequate to the challenge, but that the parties are looking for a dysfunctional climate regime. It opens with an account of the scale of emission reductions now required and a rapid survey of already dangerous climate impacts. It then gives a brief history of the negotiation process to account for how it has achieved ever more dismal outcomes. All countries have submitted pledges to the UNFCCC ahead of the Paris COP and the sum of them adds up to disaster.

South Africa is amongst the top 12 producers of carbon emissions. The report examines its submission, judged ‘inadequate’, and climate policy. For corporate South Africa, ‘inadequate’ translates into over-ambitious. Amongst their regular complaints is that climate and energy policy are not aligned. We agree. South Africa’s energy plans scarcely recognise its climate pledge and the Department of Energy is well aligned to the corporate view. The report looks at the long running power crisis and argues that it is not just Eskom that is failing. 

The model of development that has shaped South Africa over the last century is based on cheap coal, cheap labour and heavy duty pollution. It is now broken.

To download the report, click here.There is no certain outcome to the political battles of the next decades but it is certain that survival is at stake. The concluding section asks “whose survival?”

(*) groundWork is Health Care Without Harm’s Strategic Partner in South Africa and an environmental justice organization working with community people from around South Africa, and increasingly Southern Africa, on environmental justice and human rights issues focusing on Coal, Climate and Energy Justice, Waste and Environmental Health.

January 11, 2016Global

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Report | Health Implications of the UN Climate Conference in Paris

 

Source: Climate and Health Alliance

Health and Climate in 2015 and Beyond

On the 5th of December 2015, an unprecedented alliance of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals from every part of the health sector has come together calling on governments to reach a strong agreement at the UN climate negotiations that protects the health of patients and the public. Together, at the Annual Health and Climate Summit in Paris, they have announced the signatories of declarations representing over 1,700 health organizations, 8,200 hospitals and health facilities, and 13 million health professionals, bringing the global medical consensus on climate change to a level never seen before.

For more information, see the press release here.

Accompanying this consensus is a new report from the Global Climate and Health Alliance (*), co-sponsored by Health Care Without Harm, outlining the health implications of the UN Climate Conference in Paris and the need for a strong deal and an increased emphasis on health within national and international climate policy. The purpose of the document is to provide health professionals, policy-makers, UNFCCC negotiators and members of the public with an introduction to why COP21 is important for health, and how public health evidence can strengthen national and international climate policy.

Available to download as a pdf file here.

For more information on the role of HCWH in the COP 21, click here

For more information on the Climate and Health Summits, click here.


 

(*) Global Climate and Health Alliance

HCWH is a founding member of the Global Climate and Health Alliance, which was formed in Durban, South Africa in 2011 to tackle climate change and to protect and promote public health. 


The Alliance consists of health organizations from around the world united by a shared vision for a sustainable future.

Specifically the Alliance members work together to:

  • Ensure health impacts are integrated into global, national and local responses to climate change
  • Encourage the health sector to mitigate and adapt to climate change

The Alliance meets annually at the conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. For more information, click here

January 5, 2016Global

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