Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Sector Planning guidances allow you to environmentally align your project strategy design.

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VEHA - Sector Planning Guidance

Enabling activities - Health care facilities

Enabling activities – Health care facilities

Sector result

Ensure appropriate health response while minimising any negative programme impact on the natural environment


Define the indicators

Health facility, health staff, and community health waste management behaviours.

The proportion of health waste that is separated and appropriately managed.

# municipalities/communities that have environmentally sustainable recycling, composting, solid waste, and hazardous medical waste separation, collection, treatment, and landfill plan


Ask Questions

Have you assessed health facilities, health staff, and community health waste management practices?

Is there a sustainable health waste management plan in place?

Do the solid waste management activities covered by your submission include activities to sort and separate waste; reuse, recycle or convert it into energy or resources where possible; and to use natural approaches to vector control or integrated pest management at waste accumulation points to minimise public health risks?


Include a Source of Verification

Include in the initial assessment, and in the intervention’s monitoring plan, questions, and evaluation of health facility, health staff, and community waste management practices and changes in practices.

Plan for health waste separation and management is designed with clear resources and capacities.

Health facilities' water management plans includes a section on managing waste and grey waters.


Consult Guidance & Examples

• Address reusing, repurposing, recycling, or composting solid waste and household waste

• Installing separate bins for nappies/pads and other potentially infectious material and developing appropriate waste management strategies. Check the local market for designs that contain no plastic or petrochemical (elastic) or consider whether this could become a livelihoods/enterprise opportunity, in coordination with the integration sector.

• All forms of waste management should adopt a “polluter pays” principle and budget for the final disposal of waste, ensuring that vulnerable people are not exposed to waste generated by humanitarian activities at dumpsites or temporary staging areas for waste management. Where possible, aim to repurpose waste and use this as an opportunity to introduce new technology (where sustainable) and new waste management practices into local communities and authorities. Where solid waste must be left exposed for any time, make use of natural repellents and integrated pest management to reduce vermin and vectors. Various herbs and spices are very effective in repelling a range of different pests and vectors and can be planted in boxes close to sites that might otherwise attract vectors, avoiding the need for chemical controls. Aim to restore sites used for waste management to an equal or better visual and environmental state than how they were found as a form of environmental remediation.

• Certain contexts may offer the opportunity for clean energy generation as a way to reduce the use of wood or fossil fuels for cooking. Biodigesters can be developed to harness energy from organic material gathered in solid waste management activities, or by also incorporating faecal sludge in bio digestion.

• Health working groups may wish to consider jointly contracting transport and final disposal services certified by the Ministry of Health, to control these risks and achieve economies of scale. Health assessments should consider how healthcare waste is managed through to treatment and final disposal and include visits to waste dumps/landfills or the final point of disposal of treated waste. Alternatively, make use of low-cost technology for healthcare waste management

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