On 10 August 2017, GGHH members from the KwaZulu-Natal province, in South Africa, held their first regional forum. There were 18 participants from 10 GGHH members at the meeting.

The event started with Luqman Yesufu, GGHH Campaigner in Africa, providing a brief overview of GGHH. Participants were impressed by the size and geographic reach of the network and found the case studies library to be a great resource. During the event, Luqman also hosted a session on “How to write a GGHH case study.” Many participants realized they were already sitting on two to four case studies without knowing it. They all decided to document their achievements in the near future with a case study.

During the forum, several members presented on the work and accomplishemtns of their institution:

  • Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital started an awareness campaign to save water and energy in the hospital. The hospitals displays posters, awareness stickers, banners and video clips promoting energy and water efficiency throughout their facility, particularly in waiting areas, to educate both staff and patients. They also changed spaghetti style mops, which consume large amounts of water, to top down mops that consume less water. Coupled with an elbow technique they use during hand washing, the hospital has saved over 60,000 liters of water.
  • Following the Grey’s hospital GGHH launch in 2016, they have carried out baseline assessments to identify the high waste producing areas around the hospital so that they can target them for waste minimization. Through the Introduction of segregation bins and staff training, they have already been able to reduce costs for infectious waste treatment. The diversion of crèche papers was also very important in the reduction of waste coming out of theatres. Finally, the hospital phased out all mercury thermometers.
  • Port Shepstone Hospital has embarked on an awareness campaign to educate patients, staff and the general public on the importance of water conservation. They have also introduced water metering to monitor the use and misuse of water in the hospital. This has dropped hospital water consumption by over 30%. The cleaning supervisor and her team currently ensure that all taps, water sources and other areas are regularly turned off when not in use. They also empowered all staffs and patients to be aware of this important and simple action and take ownership of it.

Yesufu concluded: “We had a wonderful meeting with all the members interacting and engaging with one another. A lot was shared and people learned so much about what their colleagues were doing regarding their GGHH projects. A decision was made to have the next KwaZulu-Natal GGHH forum meeting on the 7th of December 2017”.

The members that participated were: Ngwelezane Hospital, Lower Umfolozi War Memorial Hospital, Northdale Hospital, Edendale Hospital, Grey’s Hospital, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital, Port Shepstone Hospital and the Department of Nursing from the Durban University of Technology.