Water availability at hospitals in low- and middle-income countries

  • neilpw
  • neilpw's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Posts: 34
  • Karma: 4
  • Likes received: 16

Water availability at hospitals in low- and middle-income countries

I am forwarding a message below sent on HIFA ( www.hifa.org ) in case you haven't seen this paper

'Less than two-thirds of hospitals providing surgical care in 19 LMICs had a reliable water source.' This is the shocking conclusion of a literature review in the Journal of Surgical Research.

I highlight the paper here on HIFA as a reminder that health care disempowered by workers have a range of basic needs to provide health care. On HIFA we have described these as SEISMIC (Skills, Equipment, Information, Systems infrastructure, Medicines, Incentives, Communication facilities). A reliable water supply is a fundamental requirement of the systems infrastructure needed to support health care. Improving access to information for helath workers needs to be done in combination with meeting other basic needs.

HIFA is proud to be collaborating with the International Confederation of Midwives, Commonwealth Nursing and Midwifery Foundation and WaterAid in campaigning for quality healthcare for all through water, sanitation and hygiene in all health facilities.

CITATION: J Surg Res. 2016 Sep;205(1):169-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.06.040. Epub 2016 Jun 18.
Water availability at hospitals in low- and middle-income countries: implications for improving access to safe surgical care.
Chawla SS1, Gupta S2, Onchiri FM3, Habermann EB4, Kushner AL5, Stewart BT6.
Author information

Although two billion people now have access to clean water, many hospitals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) do not. Lack of water availability at hospitals hinders safe surgical care. We aimed to review the surgical capacity literature and document the availability of water at health facilities and develop a predictive model of water availability at health facilities globally to inform targeted capacity improvements.
Using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, a systematic search for surgical capacity assessments in LMICs in MEDLINE, PubMed, and World Health Organization Global Health Library was performed. Data regarding water availability were extracted. Data from these assessments and national indicator data from the World Bank (e.g., gross domestic product, total health expenditure, and percent of population with improved access to water) were used to create a predictive model for water availability in LMICs globally.
Of the 72 records identified, 19 reported water availability representing 430 hospitals. A total of 66% of hospitals assessed had water availability (283 of 430 hospitals). Using these data, estimated percent of water availability in LMICs more broadly ranged from under 20% (Liberia) to over 90% (Bangladesh, Ghana).
Less than two-thirds of hospitals providing surgical care in 19 LMICs had a reliable water source. Governments and nongovernmental organizations should increase efforts to improve water infrastructure at hospitals, which might aid in the provision of safe essential surgical care. Future research is needed to measure the effect of water availability on surgical care and patient outcomes.

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare knowledge - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ) and current chair of the Dgroups Foundation ( www.dgroups.info ), which supports 700 communities of practice for international development, social justice and global health. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All) and co-director of the Global Healthcare Information Network. He started his career as a hospital doctor in the UK, and worked briefly as an isolated health worker in rural Ecuador and Peru. For the last 20 years he has been committed to the global challenge of improving the availability and use of relevant, reliable healthcare information for health workers and citizens in low- and middle-income countries. He is also interested in the wider potential of inclusive, interdisciplinary communication...
You need to login to reply
  • F H Mughal
  • F H Mughal's Avatar
  • Senior Water and Sanitation Engineer
  • Posts: 1032
  • Karma: 20
  • Likes received: 221

Re: Water availability at hospitals in low- and middle-income countries

Dear Mr. Neil,

The findings of the paper are correct. My experience shows that in government hospitals here, not only the supply of water is erratic, the quality of the water is also poor.

Please have a look at the news ( www.dawn.com/news/1318414/over-70pc-wate...or-human-consumption ), in today's local newspaper, which says that around 80 per cent of potable water samples in Karachi have bacterial contamination. Karachi is a megacity.


F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
You need to login to reply
  • Kebede
  • Kebede's Avatar
  • Posts: 2
  • Likes received: 0

Re: Water availability at hospitals in low- and middle-income countries

Thank you for the post, this is a concerning topic which require attention by all stakeholders to address WASH in HCFs. Below are related links;

The problem is also linked to climate change causing water shortage in some facilities.

Kebede Eticha

You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Recently active users. Who else has been active?
Time to create page: 1.126 seconds