India | Health Sector Leaders Meet to Discuss Environmental Health Plan for 2018

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The third Steering Committee Meeting of the Health and Environment Leadership Platform (HELP) took place on 15th February 2018 in Kochi, India. The meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the progress achieved in HELP’s first year and to discuss plans and objectives for 2018.

HELP was convened by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and HCWH and launched in February 2017 with representatives from several leading health care institutions and thousands of health care professionals from around India. The platform aims to bring together health sector leaders to voice their concern and show leadership on the impact of environmental risk factors for ill health. At the moment, HELP has 26 member institutions, all of them are GGHH members, that represent over 6, 000 hospitals and health centers.

In the meeting, Bhargav Krishna from PHFI presented the platform’s progress and also discussed the proposed work plan for 2018. Highlights from the first year include:

  • HELP has grown to include 26 members representing the interests of more than 6,000 health care institutions and over 27,000 physicians in India.
  • HELP released a joint statement on behalf of the health sector calling for actions to improve India’s air quality.
  • HELP members developed case studies on successful implementation of green practices within the health sector
  • HELP created a monograph on ‘Green Health Care Institutions’ to promote awareness on climate-smart health care systems among medical professionals.

HELP looks forward to building on the progress of its first year and expanding in 2018. They will be focusing their work on the below activities and opportunities:

  • Development of a course on environmental health for physicians, with a focus on air pollution and related health impacts.
  • Establishment of Air Quality Monitor Network coupled with communications toolkits and workshops for physicians.
  • Collaborating on the development of Green Hospital Standards in India.
  • Development of a simplified Bio-Medical Waste Management Manual.
  • Development and dissemination of case studies on climate-smart health care.
  • Launching a project on sustainable procurement in the health sector in partnership with HCWH and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

From left (top): Dr. Saravana Kumar, Dr. Chandra, Mr. Krishna, Dr. V Agarwal, Dr. Thomas, Dr. A Agarwal, Mr. Karliner, Dr. Remesh Kumar, Dr. Papa, Dr. Mathew, Mr. Manogaran). From the left (bottom): Ms. Shukla, Ms. Bahuguna, Dr.Arora, Dr. Poornima, Ms. Wilburn, Dr. Ramalingam, Dr. Rathi