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PIA Press Release

Int'l health coalition launches signature campaign for mercury-free hospitals

by Ben Moses Ebreo

Tuguegarao City (February 5) -- Workers of an international health coalition have launched a massive signature campaign calling for public support on the gradual phase out of mercury in all health equipments and facilities in the country.

The Health Care Without Harm(HCWH) organization during a conduct of a regional conference on the phase out and proper health care waste management of mercury-based health facilities and equipments in Cagayan Valley region at the Crown Lodge here Thursday(February 4) said the signature campaign has been launched to drum up support for the implementation of Department of Health's Administrative Order No. 21.

AO 21 mandates the gradual phase-out of mercury in all Philippine health care facilities and institutions in the country.

"Health care workers primary duty is to provide guidance on proper health to the people. However, this duty must not stop there. We need to provide a situation where health will thrive and survive," said Merci Ferrer, HCWH Southeast Asia executive director during a media briefing here.

According to Ferrer, out of 39 government and 44 hospitals in Cagayan Valley, the St. Paul Hospital in this city was one of the first best hospitals who received the 1st Do No Harm Award for mercury phase out from HCWH-SEA in September 2009.

The Do No Harm Award recognizes outstanding hospitals, health care workers, institutions and communities in the country and other Southeast Asian countries who are leading the way to a healthier environment.

Ferrer also added that the support of the country's national and local leaders are needed in this campaign towards a greener health care Philippines.

"We have conducted a regional conference here because most of our health workers still do not know this campaign under AO 21," Ferrer said. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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