One in four healthcare facilities around the world lacks basic water services, impacting over two billion people, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP).
The WASH in Health Care Facilities report is the first comprehensive global assessment of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities.
It found that 4 per cent of hospitals and 11 per cent of other healthcare facilities have no water service, while one in five healthcare facilities have no sanitation service.
The report also found that just over half (55%) of healthcare facilities in the least developed countries had basic water services, with 17 million women in these countries giving birth in health centres with inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene annually.
“Water, sanitation and hygiene services in health facilities are the most basic requirements of infection prevention and control and of quality care. They are fundamental to respecting the dignity and human rights of every person who seeks healthcare and of health workers themselves,” said António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General. “I call on people everywhere to support action for WASH in all healthcare facilities. This is essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”