Discussing health care sustainability, climate change, and WHO's One Health goal

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Shreya Doshi, MBBS, FAAP, explains what health care sustainability is and how the industry contributes to climate change.

"Health care sustainability means taking into account how the health care system, our hospitals and clinics, have impacted greenhouse gas emissions," said Shreya Doshi, MBBS, FAAP, in this Contemporary Pediatrics video interview.

Doshi is a board-certified pediatrician and an infectious disease fellow at Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC. Doshi joined Contemporary Pediatrics to explain what health care sustainability is and how various health institutions are contributing to climate change.

"At this time, we're seeing so many events around the world that are related to extreme weather or climate change," said Doshi. "Children tend to be some of the most vulnerable people because [they] are growing and they need a good, healthy environment and healthy food in order to grow. So, for our children to be healthy, it's very important for their environment and their planet to be healthy."

Doshi explains the World Health Organization's (WHO) One Health plan, which according to WHO, is an "integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals and ecosystems."1

Doshi explained that health care systems in the United States make up 8.5% of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions. Of the health care system that contributes to overall greenhouse has emissions, 35% come from the hospital setting.2

References:

  1. One Health. World Health Organization. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://www.who.int/health-topics/one-health#tab=tab_1
  2. Eckelman MJ, Sherman J. Environmental impacts of the u. S. Health care system and effects on public health. PLOS ONE. 2016;11(6):e0157014. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157014
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