WHO, together with UNICEF, published their first comprehensive global assessment of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities compiling data from 125 countries, representing over 560,000 facilities. It reports that one in four health care facilities lack basic water services and one in five has no sanitation service – impacting 2.0 billion and 1.5 billion people, respectively. The report also reveals that many health centres lack basic facilities for hand hygiene and safe segregation and disposal of health care waste. Inequities are highlighted, including that non-hospitals, such as primary health care facilities, are twice as likely to have no water or sanitation services.
The report estimates that 1 in 5 births globally takes place in least developed countries where half of the healthcare facilities have basic water services. Each year 17 million women give birth in facilities with inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.
The press release for the report can be found here.