Health Professionals Lead the Way and Tackle South Africa’s Environmental Challenges

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2017

Community AffairsCommunity DevelopmentHealth Medical

Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA) will be gathered in Fourways, Indaba Hotel, just north of Sandton. The 4 day conference will take place between 4 – 7 September. 

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groundWork [1] and its strategic partner, Healthcare Without Harm [2] will be hosting a pre-congress workshop on the 4th of September, during the PHASA conference. The groundWork and HCWH led sessions will open up their doors to the media, as they provide real and tangible solutions in a workshop themed ‘Sustainable Health Care Solutions: An Environmental Health Model for Governance, Advocacy, Capacity and Information’. The gathering will tackle a whole host of issues affecting healthcare systems and communities who rely on them. The centring theme of the PHASA event is “A Global Charter for the Public’s Health”: Implications for Public Health in South Africa.

One of the main issues that will be tackled is healthcare professionals, engineers, contractors and other suppliers, coming up with better systems that address waste management, energy conservation and issues around how hospitals can deal with the impacts of climate change when they are at their doorstep.

Speakers will include academics like; Dr James Irlam from University of Cape Town and Prof Bob Mash from Stellenbosch University. Susan Wilburn, GGHH Sustainability Director, from HCWH, will also attend the event. Her talk will focus on the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals [3] sustainability goals. Other speakers will include; Denton Smith presenting on Energy and Water Saving through behavioural change & Maintenance, Tshepo Mokhadi presenting on Sustainable Health Care Waste Management through Information System and Andre Nortje presenting on Renewable and efficiency energy strategies in Hospitals.

Luqman Yesufu, GGHH campaigner, said; “climate change and resulting environmental degradation is real, the health sector needs to take a more participatory role in environmental governance as it seeks to address the issues that undermine public health. The Global Green and Healthy Hospital (GGHH) initiative provides the health sector that opportunity to relink environmental governance and environmental health as illustrated by our GGHH members.”

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