Overcoming: Lack of WASH services in healthcare facilities

Anju Bisht

, Health A2Z

Have you heard of WASH services in healthcare facilities? The idea behind the term ‘WASH’ is Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Health Care Facilities.  These basic facilities are essential for quality care as well as preventing and controlling infections in health care facilities.


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Last year in April, WHO had a news release stating 1 in 4 healthcare facilities lacks basic water services. Further in the report, revealed that some health centers lack basic facilities as well. In particular, WASH is a prerequisite and stepping stone for quality care.


What are WASH services in healthcare facilities?


WHO’s Q&A acknowledges WASH services as “water availability and quality, presence of sanitation facilities and availability of soap and water for handwashing.” To be precise WASH represent Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene are essential basic health services.


The WASH upholds preventing infections and the spread of disease, protecting healthcare providers and seekers, keeping up the dignity of those at risk involving pregnant women and the disabled. Healthcare facilities with low resource setups, gravely compromising with providing safe and people-centered care.


Consequences of lack of WASH services in healthcare facilities


In the global aspect, the current WASH services are low and far less than the needed requirement. Thus, there is a bundle of consequences resulting from the lack of such arrangements.  The following has been shared below:


  • An estimate of hundreds of millions of patients every year affected by infections associated with healthcare.


  • Where 15% estimated patients develop 1 or more infections during a hospital stay.


  • Sepsis and other severe infections a major concern among newborns. Claiming deaths, over an estimate of 430,000 annually.


  • The lack of these arrangements discourages women from giving birth in these facilities. Moreover, delay in seeking medical care.


Another way round, improvement in WASH services in healthcare facilities can establish faith in the healthcare facilities where mothers and others won’t hesitate in seeking medical attention.


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Way to Improve WASH services in healthcare facilities


The improvement in the WASH services requires commitment from health and environmental partners at every level. The road to improvement necessitates various actions:


1. Reinforcing national policies and standards.

2. Bring coordination and expansion in monitoring.

3. Make certain enough human resources and financing mechanisms.

4. Trained staff for prioritizing and maintaining improvements.



WHO Backed: 8 Practical Steps to Improve WASH services in healthcare facilities:


1. Performing circumstance examination and evaluation.

2. Determine the goal and define the blueprint.

3. Set up national benchmarks and accountability mechanisms.

4. Bring improvement and maintenance in infrastructure.

5. Proper monitoring and reviewing of the data.

6. Prepare a health workforce.

7.  Engage communities for getting feedback things.

8. Induce operational research and share learning.


We are sure you have gained a better insight into WASH services in healthcare facilities by now. The blog aims at increasing awareness among the people. The provision of WASH looks forward to accomplishing higher levels of WASH services achievement globally in about 80% of low-and middle-income countries, by 2020.


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