In 2018, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General issued a Global Call to Action to elevate the importance of and prioritize action on WASH in all health care facilities. This document presents eight practical actions that UN member states can take at the national and sub-national level to improve WASH in health care facilities. It also summarizes the global response to the UN Secretary General’s Call to Action.
Safe sanitation is essential for health, from preventing infection to improving and maintaining mental and social well-being.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are critical in the prevention and care for all of the 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) scheduled for intensified control or elimination by 2020. Provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene is one of the five key interventions within the global NTD roadmap. Yet to date, the WASH component of the strategy has received little attention and the potential to link efforts on WASH and NTDs has been largely untapped.
The lack of access to safe drinking water is felt disproportionately by those who are disadvantaged socially, economically, demographically or geographically, and explicit consideration of these groups is required to understand and address disparities.
SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands brings people together in support of hand hygiene improvement globally and to progress the goal of maintaining a global profile on hand hygiene in health care. The campaign aims to galvanise action at the point of care to demonstrate that hand hygiene is the entrance door for reducing health care-associated infection and patient safety. It also aims to demonstrate the world's commitment to this priority area of health care.
The findings in this first multi-country review of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in health care facilities (HCFs) are sobering. Drawing on data from 54 low- and middle-income countries, the report concludes that 38% lack access to even rudimentary levels of water, 19% lack sanitation and 35% do not have water and soap for handwashing. When a higher level of service is factored in, the situation deteriorates significantly.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), through the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP), have produced regular updates on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) since 1990. Together, they are responsible for monitoring Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets 6.1 and 6.2 and supporting monitoring of other WASH-related targets.
The International Network on Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS Network) is a World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund initiative bringing together over 150 key stakeholders worldwide to promote and scale up the adoption of practices and technologies that improve the quality of household drinking water for vulnerable populations. The informal network format emphasizes flexibility, participation and creativity to support coordinated action.