Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in health care facilities are fundamental for the provision of quality, people-centered care. Such services also reduce health care-related infections, increase trust and uptake of services, increase efficiency and decrease cost of service delivery and improve staff morale. All major initiatives to improve global health depend on basic WASH services in health care facilities.
In low- and middle-income countries, WASH services in many health care facilities are absent. Data from 54 countries show that 38% of health care facilities do not have an improved water source, 19% do not have improved sanitation and 35% do not have water and soap for handwashing.
An ad hoc group in DC has a goal to alert US development agencies and lawmakers about ways to support international efforts. Current participants include CCAP Malawi, Dentons, K&L Gates, Global Health Council, Improve International, Millennium Water Alliance, Water 2017, WaterAid, and Waterlines. Contact David Douglas (douglasd at rt66 dot com) for more information.
The foundation has granted $3 million to World Vision for the purpose of demonstrating sustainable WASH services in all health care facilities in two districts in Mali. PATH was awarded $1.5 million to advance the development of a commercially viable on-site chlorine generator (SE-Flow) for drinking water treatment and infection prevention and control (IPC) in low-resource health facilities, schools and communities. Read more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working with WHO on an impact assessment of WASHFIT. WASH FIT has been finalised and can be downloaded here.. To date, the tool has been used in Chad, Mali and Liberia with a further five countries beginning the process (DRC, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone).
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at studies on 430 hospitals in 19 low- and middle-income countries. In an article published online in the Journal of Surgical Research, they reported that a third of the hospitals surveyed — a total of 147 — did not have continuous running water.
The BabyWASH Coalition is a group of organizations in the US and beyond focused on increasing integration between WASH, early childhood development, nutrition, and maternal newborn and child health programming, policy-making and funding to improve child well-being in the first 1000 days. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Emory’s CGSW is involved in the high level discussions with WHO & UNICEF, but also has created a monitoring tool to assess the conditions of WASH in Healthcare Facilities. In five years of working with various partners, they have a sense of the special nature of WASH in healthcare facilities versus households. For more information contact Dr. Christine Moe (clmoe at emory dot edu).
The assessment of 45 health facilities in the northern, central and southern regions of Malawi is being funded by a generous donation from P&G. Data will be collected by researchers from the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases and its UNC Project in Malawi and the Water Institute at UNC. Read more.
It has been assumed health centres in India ensure certain levels of the availability of water, sanitation and hygiene. However, recent studies in eight districts of five states show 20% have insufficient water, toilets are unusable in 66% facilities and 50% have abysmal standards of hygiene.
Across [Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania], less than half of the facility deliveries had improved water, or improved water and sanitation in the childbirth environment [home or healthcare facility].
The most startling statistics come from Liberia, where 80% of the hospitals did not have running water all the time, and Sierra Leone, where the figure was 81%.
[In Ethiopia] Government leadership and community involvement determined the level of functioning of each facility and, with that, the attention paid to the procurement and use of water resources and the priority given to issues of sanitation and hygiene.
Speaking as a health professional, I am deeply concerned that many health care facilities still lack access to even basic water, sanitation, and hand-washing facilities, and I have committed WHO to support partners to overcome this problem.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a multisectoral problem that requires a comprehensive strategy, including WASH improvements, to prevent emergence and transmission.
In the thirteen facilities we visited in Ethiopia, no matter the problems (and there were plenty), the number one need was always the same: Every healthcare facility, big and small, went through extended periods of a complete and total lack of water.