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Wash health care facilities logo.
Wash health care facilities logo.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is exposing key vulnerabilities in health systems, such as inadequate infection prevention and control. WASH services in health care facilities, so often taken for granted, are needed more than ever to protect vulnerable health workers and patients.

WASH in health care is still ‘non-negotiable’ because it…

  • is essential for providing quality care, it protects front-line health care workers, care seekers and patients and prevents avoidable deaths;
  • is a prerequisite for infection prevention and control and preventing the spread of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens;
  • is fundamental for health security, preparedness and response efforts;
  • is a necessary element of primary health care;
  • is a human rights, dignity, social justice and gender issue;
  • is a top priority of women receiving maternal care;
  • is critical to ending neglected tropical diseases;
  • is a ‘best-buy’, which makes economic sense for investment;
  • is increasingly affected by climate change and needs climate-smart innovations and approaches;
  • is necessary for all health- and environment-related Sustainable Development Goals;
  • already has the support of a growing global community.

Country case studies demonstrate that progress is being made, propelled by strong national leadership and coordination, use of data to direct resources and action, and the mutual benefits of empowering health workers and communities to develop solutions together.

Learn more about the issue

If you have a story of work related to WASH in health care facilities, please submit it here.

To view the latest global, regional and national data visit: WASH Data.

Explore additional resources here