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Abstract Title: HOW TO DEVELOP A PUBLIC HEALTH STRATEGY FOR ARTISANAL AND SMALL-SCALE GOLD MINING: WHO GUIDANCE
Presenter Name: Astrid Knoblauch
Co-Presenters/Co-authors: Mirko Winkler
Company/Organisation: Swiss TPH
Country: Switzerland

Abstract Information :

The Minamata Convention states that the national action plan (NAP) must specifically include a public health strategy (PHS) regarding the exposure of artisanal and small-scale gold miners and their communities to mercury. The majority of countries with artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) that are party to the Minamata Convention have not yet developed a PHS. Developing the PHS is primarily the responsibility of ministries of health (MoHs). The World Health Organization (WHO) is supporting MoHs in meeting their obligations by providing guidance, tools and training materials.

In 2021, the WHO published the guidance document entitled: “A step-by-step guide for developing a public health strategy for artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the context of the Minamata Convention on Mercury” . The purpose of this guide is to provide public health professionals practical guidance on how to develop a PHS within the NAP. In this sense, the specific objectives of the Step-by-Step Guide are to (i) provide guidance on the overall approach and generation of evidence, and (ii) provide guidance on how to translate findings into a PHS. The WHO guidance is called-up in, and therefore forms a part of, the updated UNEP guidance for the preparation of NAPs, which is to be considered at Minamata COP4.

This mini-workshop will provide participants with an interactive introduction to the background and practical aspects of the Step-by-Step Guide. In the first part, the participants are placed into the setting of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the NAP and the PHS, and especially the ASGM context. In the second part, participants are guided through each of the 6 steps for developing a PHS. Digital participative methods are used so that participants simulate through certain activities of the PHS development. In a third part, WHO/Swiss TPH will present and discuss how countries can be further supported in using this new WHO guidance.



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