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Children’s Environmental Health Units
Detail: The first Children’s Environmental Health Unit was created in 2005 in the city of Buenos Aires. After a little more that 5 years there are four CEHUs that have gained a lot of experience. Four more are learning their way.

Most of them (all but one) were set up at Paediatric Hospitals and all of them are located at Public Health hospitals/facilities of national, provincial or municipal domain. At four of these institutions there are Toxicology Departments with 24/7 telephone services.

The objectives of these CEHUs relate to education and information of the community, of fellow health care professionals, direct patient care or reception of referrals and research in various environmental health topics.

The teams include doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, midwives, engineers, architects and primary school teachers (from the hospitals schools for patients). The human resources are part of the hospital staff and they may vary from unit to unit.

In other institutions groups of professionals have been meeting as workgroups on Environmental Health and are dealing with issues within their hospital, such as the use of non digital thermometers, non silicon catheters in neonatal wards, management of residues and excessive use of cleaning products as part of their work towards sustainable institutions.

In order to honor and to share the experience of the enthusiastic and dedicated group of professionals that are making this possible a publication is on its way: Children’s Environmental Health Units: The Argentinean experience.

The following links (Spanish) provide additional details.

http://www.elizalde.gov.ar/area_medica/upaelizalde/area_upaelizalde.asp

http://www.garrahan.gov.ar/index.php/hospital/comisiones/32-comite-de-salud-ambiental-infantil

http://www.guti.gov.ar/upa.htm

http://www.hospitalposadas.gov.ar/general/comites/c_sinhumo_act.htm
Source: By: Dra. María Angélica Flores, “Children’s Environmental Health Units: Growing and thriving in Argentina “, http://www.who.int/heca/infomaterials/hecanet_apr2011.pdf
Date: May 31 2011