The World Health Organisation WHO, says it has joined other international agencies signing a Statement of Intent to align and “green” procurement of health commodities.
This it says is an effort to protect the environment and contribute to sustainable development.
A statement from WHO quotes the WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan who signed the Statement of Intent as saying that “we need to make sure that when international organizations procure health commodities, we promote responsible consumption and production patterns and support the Sustainable Development Goals.”
A publication on its website says WHO and its sister UN agencies “collectively procure an estimated $3 billion in health commodities each year”, adding “that UN agencies procure significant amounts of generic anti-retroviral therapies (ARTs), anti-Malaria drugs and insecticide-impregnated bed nets, anti-TB medicines and condoms as well as certain vaccines”.
The WHO chief said the health commodities were in addition to medical and laboratory equipment by the world health agency.
“Procurement activities that promote efficient use of materials, reduce waste, and prioritise products with low carbon footprints are an important means to create cost savings and ensure that the health sector is aligning with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” she said.
Global Fund Executive-Director Dr Mark Dybul, Ms Aurélia Nguyen, Director of Policy and Market Shaping at GAVI, Mr Jan Dusik, Head of UN Environment in Europe, Ms Maria Luisa Silva, Director of the UNDP office in Geneva, and Ms Marilena Viviani, Director of UNICEF’s Geneva Liaison Office, were also present at the signing ceremony today at WHO Headquarters. Other signatory organizations are UNITAID, UNFPA and UNOPS.