The closely intertwined relationship between health care and clean environment will be the subject of an international conference to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, on July 30, 2014. The event, entitled “The Healthcare System in Nepal: The Role It Can Play in Helping to Heal the Environment,” is being organized by FHI 360 under the leadership of Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population and in partnership with Healthcare without Harm (HCWH), Healthcare Foundation in Nepal (HECAF), the Global Green and Healthy Hospital Network (GGHH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is the first conference of its kind in the South Asia region.
“Many health care leaders and governments around the world do not realize that significant environmental harm can be associated with the operations of health care facilities and the services that they provide,” said Janet Robinson, FHI 360’s Global Director of Laboratory Sciences. “They are even less aware of the simple solutions that can both reduce their environmental footprint and offer substantial economic benefits.”
According to WHO’s report, entitled “Preventing Disease Through Healthy Environments — Towards an Estimate of the Environmental Burden of Disease,” environmental factors contribute to nearly a quarter of all human disease and death, a toll that may be magnified by the growing health-related impacts of climate change. More than 150 government representatives, health care professionals, environmentalists and health care administrators from Nepal and other nations in the Asia-Pacific region will gather to discuss how that country’s health care system can play an important role in helping to “heal” Nepal’s natural environment. Participants will focus on the potential environmental harm caused by the operations and services provided by the health care sector.
“We hope that this two-day conference will help health care leaders in Nepal to understand the problem and potential solutions and implement processes that will benefit the environment and public health,” said Ruth Stringer, HCWH International Coordinator.