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Health Ministry pushing reductions in plastic waste

Released at: 16:19, 19/08/2019

Health Ministry pushing reductions in plastic waste

Photo: UNDP

Minister calls on all in health sector to work towards limiting use of plastic products in treatment and care.

by Jessica Nguyen

An online conference entitled “Deployment of Plastic Waste Reduction in the Health Sector”, organized by the Ministry of Health on August 16 in Hanoi, aimed at calling for all involved in the health sector to join hands in environmental protection by limiting plastic waste. The conference saw the participation of the Minister of Health, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, and the UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam.

“In order to reduce plastic waste in the health sector, every health worker should first raise their awareness and limit the use of unnecessary one-time-use products in medical examinations and treatment,” said Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien. She also called on all health facilities in the country to join hands to increase using oral medications, use medical supplies that are re-useable or made from environmentally-friendly materials, minimize the use of one-time food or drink containers, and completely cease using plastic bags in medical facilities. Those providing medical equipment and other supplies should also choose more environmentally-friendly materials in production.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Ministry Tran Hong Ha said that, together with the country’s economic development, the amount of medical waste has been increasing, including plastic waste. If these types of plastic waste are not controlled well, they will threaten the life of land and marine animals, pollute the environment, and affect socioeconomic development.

A signing ceremony on commitments for plastic waste reduction between the Minister of Health and the directors of Bach Mai Hospital, Viet Duc Hospital, K Hospital, and the Hanoi Medical University Hospital were also held during the online conference.

Photo: UNDP

The online conference is within the “Sustainable Health in Procurement” project, the first in Vietnam supported by UNDP and funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), and implemented in partnership with Health Care Without Harm. It also received support from the USAID-UNDP project “Strengthening the Implementation of One Health in Vietnam”.

According to UNDP, Vietnam is among Asia’s top 5 and 17th globally in terms of plastic waste volumes. UNDP Vietnam is providing support to the finalization of the National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Debris Management.

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