New WHO, UNICEF report: Frontline health facilities faltering without water, sanitation, hygiene and electricity

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New WHO, UNICEF report: Frontline health facilities faltering without water, sanitation, hygiene and electricity

Worldwide, millions of lives could be saved and billions in economic losses prevented through one simple, affordable intervention: water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in healthcare facilities.

Safe WASH services enable life-saving infection prevention and control practices, curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance, and help in delivering quality primary health care services to all. Yet, actions taken in countries are insufficient, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) released today, 

Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, Waste and Electricity Services in Health Care Facilities: 2023 Global Progress Report  highlights that an estimated 8 million people die annually in 137 low- and middle-income countries from poor-quality health care, resulting in US$6 trillion in economic losses from poor health and premature mortality.

WASH, waste and electricity services are major contributors to high quality health care. Interventions such as improving availability of hand hygiene and drinking water stations, regular cleaning, functioning toilets and regular on-site water supply can greatly help in improving health services, staff performance and in respecting the dignity of healthcare facility users.

“We are often given the excuse that public health problems are too costly to fix, but we now understand that providing basic WASH and energy to health care facilities is both non-negotiable and affordable,” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Environment, Climate Change and Health. “We have no excuses and time is running out. Basic infrastructure is a prerequisite to quality of care and is essential for life-saving practices.”

Links:  article  and  Report 
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