Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

back to activity

VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Essential Healthcare - Child health
Management of newborn and childhood illness
Making essential medical products and technologies available in the appropriate dosage and formulations

Making essential medical products and technologies available in the appropriate dosage and formulations


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

Healthcare facilities utilise large amounts of energy to provide essential medical care for newborns and children. Newborns and children are more vulnerable to diseases. Energy is required for the functioning of incubators, vaccine refrigeration, and other medical items. Higher energy demand leads to higher energy which results in air pollution if it is not from sustainable renewable sources.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Children, the elderly, and people living with diseases are more vulnerable to variations in and extremes of heat and cold.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Climate change

Summary of Impacts
Potential environmental impacts

Pollution related to energy generation, fuel sourcing and energy use

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Additional energy supply is needed in order to ensure the security of energy supply for incubators, vaccine refrigeration, and other medical items. Energy generation and supply typically use fossil fuels which contribute to climate change and local air pollution. Energy use in health facilities can lead to the release of hazardous substances such as ammonia gas, oil, and solvents that can be further detrimental for the population’s health as well as for the environment (water and air pollution).


Summary of environmental activities
  • Sourcing renewable energy supplies wherever possible
    Efficient health facility design to reduce the need for energy
  • Efficient use of energy within health systems, including the provision of energy-efficient appliances which are regularly maintained
Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities
  • Provision of energy from renewable sources significantly reduces costs over the long term, and benefits health locally and globally by reducing local air pollution and global climate change.
  • Efficient health facility design to reduce the need for energy such as natural heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation, and use of insulation.
  • Ensuring sustainable use of energy has various benefits including improved security of energy supply for operating theatres and incubators, providing hot water and improved medicines, and refrigerating vaccines, as well as decreased emissions of air pollutants with associated advantages for the health of the population.
Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

The FCDO in responding to the Global Covid-19 response used returning staff repatriation flights to bring medical teams into countries, including Bangladesh. This both helped with the pandemic response and also reduced emissions from separate flights.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

# of health facilities supplied with renewable energy

# of health facilities built or retrofitted with energy efficient design features and appliances

Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities
  • Prevention of environmental damage
  • Mitigation of environmental damage
  • Environmental enhancement
Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)
  • Time, money, and expertise to develop or source energy from renewable sources.
  • Time, money, and expertise to design health facilities to reduce energy demand.
to top
icon-menu icon-close icon-account icon-arrow icon-down icon-back icon-pointed-arrow icon-left icon-up icon-bookmark icon-share twitter facebook2 printer envelope icon-close-alt icon-top icon-loading icons / login