WASH: About 1.8 bn people depend on health facilities

About 1.8 billion people depend on health care facilities that lack basic water services, the United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health Organisation said in a new report, ‘Global progress report on WASH in health care facilities’.

This is contained in a statement signed by UNICEF’s Associate Director, Data and Analytics, Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring, Mr. Mark Hereward, and Associate Director, WASH, Programme Division, Ms Kelly Naylor on Tuesday.

Both officers said also, that 10 per cent of health facilities used by 800 million people globally, had no sanitation service.

According to them, only 30 per cent of facilities in the least developed countries had basic waste management services.

“Working or seeking care in a health care facility without safe water, sanitation or even soap puts lives at risk.

“This was certainly true before COVID-19 and has only become more relevant since, ” the duo said.

The duo said that Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in health care facilities were fundamentally important.

Also for improving the quality of care, protecting vulnerable health workers and patients, and achieving the SDG targets for maternal and child health.

“Progress is possible and investments are likely to have big returns.

“Improving hygiene in facilities also limits antimicrobial resistance and reduces illnesses that may be costlier to treat later on, ” both officers said. (NAN)

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