GGHH founding member and HCWH’s strategic partner in Nepal, the Health Care Foundation Nepal (HECAF), organized four introductory meetings to present and promote GGHH to non-members during July 2017.

The meetings were the biggest outreach effort so far in Nepal and covered 4 regions of the country. and covered the capital, Kathmandu; Bharatpur in Chitwan district in the south-central; Butwal in Rupandehi district in the western region; and Achham District in the remote Far Western Region. The meetings were organized in collaboration with the Association of Private Health Institutions of Nepal (APHIN) and also with the District Public Health Office mainly outside the Kathmandu.

Mahesh Nakarmi, HECAF Director and Senior Healthcare Waste Advisor lead the meetings, supported by HECAF Program Officer Prerana Dangol and HECAF Program Coordinator Urukshya Dongol, and Health Care Without Harm International Science and Policy Coordinator Ruth Stringer. Together they introduced GGHH and explained the benefits of being a GGHH member; described the progress made by GGHH members in Nepal, the global activities of GGHH, the environmental contribution from the health care sector to global disease, some green technologies and the tools that are available on GGHH Connect.  The presentations were followed by interactive discussion and hospital representatives lined up to sign a banner signaling their intention to join the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network.

Altogether, the meetings brought together one hundred and fifty participants from fifty nine hospitals and ten other organizations, including the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Program.

The team from Health Care Foundation Nepal and Health Care Without Harm were joined at each meeting by different regional representatives, such as the District Public Health Offices, and other experts who gave talks about GGHH goals, and shared their support of the network and the importance of the healthcare sector in protecting public and environmental health.

During the meetings it was seen that almost all healthcare facilities were interested in dealing with healthcare waste as the primary concern of GGHH members in Nepal, and a subject on which HECAF have many years of experience.  Healthcare waste treatment equipment, crafts made from waste were exhibited, and case studies were displayed around the meeting rooms.  As well as this, speakers including GGHH members, national and international experts gave talks relevant to other GGHH goals.  Talks on food hygiene and disposal of food waste were of particular interest to the Food Goal; Rainwater harvesting to the Water goal; solar energy and biogas generation from food and pathological waste in energy goal; informed participants wanting to work on the Waste and Energy goals.

“This has been a truly inspiring series of meetings” said Ruth Stringer, from HCWH. “The Nepali healthcare sector and national public health offices are ready to embrace environmental health. The presence and participation of nine GGHH member hospitals shows the value of their leadership for greening our health care facilities. The meeting sessions and sharing in-between was motivating for other hospitals to join in this network”, added Mahesh Nakarmi, director of HECAF.

At this time, 20 GGHH members are from Nepal, including three health organizations including HECAF and seventeen hospitals.  Four more hospitals from Nepal are in the process of becoming GGHH members.

Photos’ source: HECAF