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The Head of Sustainable Development Cluster, Paolo Dalla Stella, Programme Specialist (Sustainable Development), UNDP today handed over mercury free devices to the Ministry of Health. The medical items were received on behalf of the Ministry by the Deputy Minister of Health Hon. Tina Gifty Mensah, for distribution to the various health facilities.

The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Ghana Health Service (GHS), staff of the Ministry of Health and representatives from UNDP.

In a speech read by Hon. Tina Gifty Mensah on behalf of the Hon Minister, she extended her appreciation to UNDP and GEF, in partnership with the WHO and Health care without Harm for the continuous collaboration and valuable contribution towards the development of the health sector.

She stated that, globally efforts are being made to phase out mercury containing devices from the health sector by the coming into force of the Minamata Convention.

She further stated that, Ghana is committed to the convention and we have taken steps in phasing out mercury devices in our health facilities. This support is therefore timely and appropriate to augment government’s effort to comply with the requirements of the Minamata Convention.

Since the negative health and environmental impacts of mercury and its related compounds such as liver and kidney problems, brain damage, minamata disease, etc should be avoided. We do not intend to expose our health workers, clients and the citizenry to mercury and therefore, we will continue as a sector ministry to encourage the use of non-mercury devices by our health facilities. We will review our procurement policy so that we can phase out mercury containing devices from the health sector by 2015, she stated.

Concluding, her speech, the Deputy Minister said, the donation will also help us to achieve the global goals under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more especially goal 3, – “Ensuring healthy life and promote health and well-being for all, at all ages”, and Goal 6 – “ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.

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