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.
Pollution and environmental degradation intensify environmental health risks and create harmful living conditions. Pollution of the water, soil, and the air is a threat to human health and wellbeing and exacerbates poverty and inequality. Additionally, natural and man-made disasters can quickly overwhelm and/or interrupt the healthcare system. Public health can be affected by disruptions of physical, biological, and ecological systems, including disturbances originating here and elsewhere. The health effects of these disruptions include increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health.
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural resource depletion
Environmental impacts can occur from all health service activities, including construction waste, laboratory and hospital waste; construction materials; solid waste management causing air, water, and soil pollution; burning fossil fuels for energy generation, minimising water waste and effluent polluting soil and water; environmental determinants of health; environmental hazards such as floods, droughts, crop pests, and disease; landslides and desertification. Health services produce waste including solid waste, organic, and medical waste which can all pollute and create disease vectors. Health facilities use hazardous substances/chemicals for cleaning, medicinal use, and anaesthetics which can seriously pollute the environment if released in an uncontrolled manner.
# of locations / communities / facilities that have been included in an overall environmentally sustainable healthcare service provision plan.
Significant time for consultation and assessment of existing health services capacities, efficiency, environmental impacts, and opportunities for environmental impact prevention, mitigation, and possible enhancements.