Contact: Sonia G. Astudillo (+63) 2-9287572
Chemical Substitution and Management to Pilot in Philippine Hospitals
Manila — Chemicals abound today as people have become dependent on its various purposes in daily living. Agriculture, construction industries, and even households deal with chemicals as essential components in pesticides, pipe systems, cable insulators, and cleaning agents among others.
The health sector is definitely not exempt from chemical use. People may not be aware of it but ironically, hospitals, where people seek treatment for sickness are the same places which expose them to disease-causing substances.
Two years after HCWH-AP has successfully engaged Philippine hospitals to phase out the use of mercury-containing medical devices, the work now focuses on identifying more chemicals. In the campaign dubbed as Chemical Substitution and Management in the Health Care Sector, HCWH-AP will identify harmful chemicals used in some hospital procedures and products, source safer alternatives for these, and pilot at least two hospitals for chemical substitution. The project will also educate hospital workers and other stakeholders on safe chemicals management.
Exploratory meetings are scheduled this July among invited hospitals to discuss project activities and areas of cooperation. Once commitments are sealed, a Chemical Management committee from the hospital will be formed whom HCWH-AP and technical experts will work and consult with for the duration of the project.
The perspective for the hopeful success of chemical substitution in the Philippines is the replication of pilot models among HCWH-AP’s network of health care systems and lead towards adoption of safe chemical policies on a national and regional scope.
The project is also being done by HCWH-Latin America/Salud sin Daño.
Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of more than 500 organizations in 53 countries, working to transform the health care sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. Visit the HCWH website for more information.
Administrative Order 21