What is the impact of WASH Healthcare Facilities? - A systematic review of the evidence from low-income and middle income countries


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What is the impact of WASH Healthcare Facilities?

What is the impact of WASH Healthcare Facilities?

An absorbing recent paper highlights the impact of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) in healthcare facilities. Titled: What is the impact of water sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities on care seeking behaviour and patient satisfaction? A systematic review of the evidence from low-income and middle income countries; the paper has Oliver Cumming of Department of Disease Control, Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK, as one of the authors.

Abstract (in part) says:

We sought to assess the relationship between water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) provision in healthcare facilities (HCF) and patient satisfaction/care seeking behaviour in low-income and middle-income countries. Pubmed and Medline Ovid were searched using a combination of search terms. 984 papers were retrieved and only 21 had a WASH component warranting inclusion. WASH was not identified as a driver of patient satisfaction but poor WASH provision was associated with significant patient dissatisfaction with infrastructure and quality of care.

I have slightly different views on this. Non-availability of the doctor is a major patient dissatisfaction, no doubt. Here, in the Sindh province of Pakistan, WASH is also a major patient dissatisfaction. In fact, the other day, the health secretary has been directed to report on water and sanitation facilities in hospitals in Sindh.

While the paper assess the hospitals in Africa, there are 4 cases of hospitals in India (Table 2 in the paper). My interpretation is (I may be wrong) that WASH as patient dissatisfaction is a point of concern in Indian hospitals.

I also believe that there will be slight variation of patients’ orientation towards dissatisfaction, from one region to another, and from one country to another.

Nevertheless, the paper is fascinating and full of useful information.

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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