“Half of health care facilities globally lack basic hygiene services” says WHO

"Half of health care facilities globally lack basic hygiene services" says WHO. Image: World Health Organisationi

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have joined together to release the damming report on global health care facilities.

Half of health care facilities worldwide lack basic hygiene services with water and soap or alcohol-based hand rub where patients receive care.

Around 3.85 billion people use these facilities, putting them at greater risk of infection, including 688 million people who receive care at facilities with no hygiene services at all, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed on Tuesday, August 30.

The report notes that contaminated hands and environments play a significant role in pathogen transmission in health care facilities and the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

Interventions to increase access to handwashing with water and soap and environmental cleaning form the cornerstone of infection prevention and control programmes and are crucial to providing quality care, particularly for safe childbirth.

Doctor Maria Neira, WHO Director, said: “Hygiene facilities and practices in health care settings are non-negotiable. Their improvement is essential to pandemic recovery, prevention and preparedness.”

“Hygiene in health care facilities cannot be secured without increasing investments in basic measures, which include safe water, clean toilets, and safely managed health care waste.”

Doctor Maria added: “I encourage Member States to step up their efforts to implement their 2019 World Health Assembly commitment to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in health care facilities, and to monitor these efforts.”


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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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