When Azeeza Rangunwala, the Gauteng Provincial Health Department’s Assistant Director of Research and Policy Development, discovered following an inventory assessment that there were still mercury devices in the Sizwe Tropical Diseases Hospital, she decided to launch a phase-out campaign with the help of hospital staff.

Rangunwala explains that mercury impacts health care at different levels. “As a public health department, it is of local and global interest to ensure that humans are safe from all types of harm, including extremely dangerous chemicals such as mercury,” she says.

With financial assistance from the Sustainable Health in Procurement Project (SHiPP), digital devices were procured, and hospital staff was trained during a workshop organised by groundWork, an HCWH strategic partner.

As a result of the initiative, mercury containing sphygmomanometers and thermometers were replaced with digital devices. The workshops with staff members also helped raise awareness and build the capacity to support behavioural change.

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