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Sustainable procurement to benefit human health and the environment

Update: May, 25/2019 - 16:57


A patient receives medicine at a hospital in HCM City. Sustainable supply chain in the health sector will help benefit both people and the environment. VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng 

VĨNH PHÚC — Việt Nam will be the first country in South East Asia to implement the Sustainable Health in Procurement Project (SHiPP), UNDP Việt Nam Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen announced on Friday.

The project is a joint effort implemented by UNDP and Healthcare without Harm (HCWH) with the financial support from Swedish International Development Agency in ten countries from 2018 to 2021.

Despite its crucial role in ensuring people’s wellbeing, the healthcare sector can still have negative impacts on human health and the environment.

Exposure to biological and chemical substances, risks from improper waste management and treatment, plastic and non-degradable products along with greenhouse gas emissions from medical practices are among severe threats.

Therefore, sustainable health procurement is expected to create a major shift toward the greener economy that benefits both people and the environment.  

International experiences show that sustainable and responsible procurement practices help reduce at least 65 per cent of the carbon footprint of England’s National Health Service and 82 per cent of the carbon footprint of UNDP-administered Global Fund for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis projects in Tajikistan.

The idea of the project is to reduce the harm to people and the environment caused by the manufacture, use and disposal of medical products and by the implementation of health programs.

SHiPP sets a goal to accelerate the sustainable supply chain to improve human health and reduce greenhouse gases.

“Việt Nam is one of three countries selected in Asia because of its history of engagement and strong commitment in the issue,” said Wiesen.

“Therefore, it is natural to come here to start and look at how to further green the health procurement system and the whole health program in Việt Nam.”

Deputy minister of health, Nguyễn Trường Sơn expressed his appreciation, saying this project would provide essential technical support and prompt interventions in developing the responsible procurement in the health sector in alignment with the national strategy on green growth and the regulation of management of hazardous waste.

“We are pleased to see many legislation and regulation have been adopted relevant to the intervention designated in this project. Hopefully, the project and the authorities will be able to work closely together and achieve the goal,” said Wiesen. — VNS


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