On the 4th and 5th of September 2017, GGHH members in South Africa gathered in Johannesburg to collectively review their progress in reaching their respective sustainability goals and develop three year implementation strategies for their respective health institution. These hospitals play an integral role to inspire other institutions in South Africa to focus on sustainability and prepare to stand resilient in the fact of a changing climate.

During the meeting, which was organized by groundWork, HCWH’s strategic partner in South Africa, each GGHH member presented a poster to showcase their achievements and the challenges they faced along the way. The various presentations inspired everyone, as members were keen to learn about the successes and challenges of each member institution.

“GGHH is helping us as a facility to promote environmental health consciousness and awareness. Through GGHH, we get technical support, which gives us advice on what to do and how to achieve our sustainability goals. The support we receive through GGHH Connect is amazing. You learn a lot! It helps us to connect and engage all levels of staff and the community. Our work on the GGHH goals of waste and energy have allowed us to reduce our hospital’s environmental footprint. Furthermore, there has been a tremendous value to the lower level staff as the savings achieved through our sustainability programs have funded new uniforms for them. By making this connection, they see the importance and impact of this work for the hospital and the community.” said Yvonne Nelukalo from Victoria Hospital.

Member institutions that participated in the event include: Khayelitsha Hospital, Worcester Hospital, Western Cape Government Health, Victoria Hospital, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Mamelodi Regional Hospital, Bertha Gxowa Hospital, Health Care Waste and Occupational Hygiene Risk Management (HCW & OHRM), Bongani Regional Hospital, Netcare Limited, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Stellenbosch University, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, King Edward Hospital, Groote Schuur Hospital, Valkenberg Hospital, Pretoria West Hospital, Tembisa Hospital, Port Shepstone Regional Hospital, Grey’s Hospital and Durban University of Technology.

The event took place during the 13th Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA) Conference (4-7 September, in Johannesburg, South Africa) after the Pre-Congress Workshop on Sustainable Health Care Solutions.