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WHO Guidance for Climate Resilient and Environmentally Sustainable Health Care Facilities

The aim of this guidance is to enhance the capacity of health care facilities to protect and improve the health of their target communities in an unstable and changing climate; and to empower health care facilities to be environmentally sustainable, by optimizing the use of resources and minimizing the release of waste into the environment. Climate resilient and environmentally sustainable health care facilities contribute to high quality of care and accessibility of services, and by helping reduce facility costs also ensure better affordability. They are, therefore, an important component of universal health coverage (UHC). This document aims to:

  • Guide professionals working in health care settings to understand and effectively prepare for the additional health risks posed by climate change.
  • Strengthen capacity to effectively conduct surveillance of climate-related diseases; and monitor, anticipate, manage and adapt to the health risks associated with climate change.
  • Guide health care facility officials to work with health determining sectors (including water and sanitation, energy, transportation, food, urban planning, environment) to prepare for the additional health risks posed by climate change through a resilience approach, and promote environmentally sustainable practices in providing services.
  • Provide tools to assist health care facility officials assess their resilience to climate change threats, and environmental sustainability based on appropriate use of resources (in particular water and energy and sustainable procurement), and release of hazardous materials (biological, chemical, radiological), into their surrounding environment.
  • Promote actions to ensure that health care facilities are constantly and increasingly strengthened and continue to be efficient and responsive to improve health, and contribute to reducing inequities and vulnerability within their local settings.
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