Almost 2 billion people depend on health care facilities without basic water services

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  • neilpw
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Almost 2 billion people depend on health care facilities without basic water services

Dear SuSanA members,
 
I share below extracts from a WHO press release today. Read online:
https://www.who.int/news/item/14-12-2020-almost-2-billion-people-depend-on-health-care-facilities-without-basic-water-services-who-unicef
 
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Almost 2 billion people depend on health care facilities without basic water services ­
WHO, UNICEF
14 December 2020 Joint News Release Geneva, New York
 
Around 1.8 billion people are at heightened risk of COVID-19 and other diseases because they use or work in health care facilities
without basic water services, warn WHO and UNICEF.
 
“Working in a health care facility without water, sanitation and hygiene is akin to sending nurses and doctors to work without
personal protective equipment” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO
Director-General. “Water supply, sanitation and hygiene in health care
facilities are fundamental to stopping COVID-19. But there are still major gaps
to overcome, particularly in least developed countries.”
 
The report, Fundamentals first: Universal water, sanitation, and hygiene services in health care facilities for safe, quality
care, comes as COVID-19 is exposing key vulnerabilities within health systems, including inadequate infection prevention and control.
 
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are vital to the safety of health workers and patients yet provision of  these services is not prioritized.
Worldwide, 1 in 4 health care facilities has no water services, 1 in 3 does not have access to hand hygiene where care is provided, 1
in 10 has no sanitation services*, and 1 in 3 does not segregate waste safely...
 
According to the report, immediate, incremental investments in WASH have big returns: improving hygiene in health care
facilities is a “best buy”  for tackling antimicrobial resistance. It reduces healthcare costs because it reduces health-care associated infections (which are
costly to treat). It saves time as health workers do not have to search for
water for hand hygiene. Better hygiene also increases uptake of services. This
all adds up to a return of USD 1.5 for every dollar invested...
 
The report provides four main recommendations:
Implement costed national roadmaps with appropriate financing; Monitor and regularly review progress in improving WASH services,
practices and the enabling environment; Develop capacities of health workforce
to sustain WASH services and promote and practice good hygiene; Integrate WASH
into regular health sector planning, budgeting, and programming, including
COVID-19 response and recovery efforts to deliver quality services.
--
 
Best wishes, Neil
Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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