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. A number of areas require urgent action and WHO will work with UNICEF, governments and other partners to develop a global plan to address the most pressing needs and ensure that all health care facilities have WASH services.
This review of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in health care facilities in low resource settings is the first comprehensive, multi-country analysis on the topic. It highlights low access in many countries and specific actions needed to strengthen policy, implementation, and monitoring.