Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Health Care Facilities
Handwashing and Keeping Surfaces Safe are crucial tools to prevent and control infection in health facilities, households and communities. It has always been, and even more so today, as it is among the key guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
When Healthcare facilities lack Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), they become centres of infection transmission.
Coronavirus can spread where there is a density of pathogens and volume of sick people. Healthcare facilities clearly fall into that category. There is no more critical site than a healthcare facility when it comes to pandemic disease. They must be able to maintain hygiene to stop further infection.
Global health threats know no borders. WASH in healthcare facilities is at the core of preventing, containing and controlling epidemics and pandemics; and required for global stability and economic growth. Coronavirus is a wake-up call for all of us to take hand-washing and safe surfaces very seriously.
Healthcare workers especially need to stay safe because they are at the frontline of this pandemic. Nurses, midwives, doctors, auxiliaries must maintain hygiene to stay healthy, always, and particularly during this dangerous time by washing their hands with soap and water, using an alcohol based sanitizer, and disinfecting surfaces regularly.
It is essential that cleaners at healthcare facilities are trained to maintain hygiene and safe surfaces for infection prevention and control.
Around the world, billions of people seek health at thousands of healthcare facilities that lack the foundation for healthcare: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH). Without WASH, healthcare facilities become epicentres of Infection, not centres of healing.
WASH in healthcare facilities isn’t just a problem, it is a solution. Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) is the foundation for global health and needs to be improved and enforced in the majority of healthcare facilities in the developing world.
At Wellbeing Foundation Africa, we believe that hand hygiene must be a quality indicator in every facility, and a national marker of healthcare quality.