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  • 06 September, 2022

  • 9 Min Read

Healthcare Facilities Worldwide

Healthcare Facilities Worldwide

Image Source - Deloitte

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) report, over half of the world's healthcare facilities lack basic hygiene services, placing 3.85 billion people at an increased risk of diseases.

The research was made public during Stockholm, Sweden's World Water Week.

Highlights of the Report:

Lack of Basic Hygiene:

  • 3.85 billion individuals are at an increased risk of infection due to the lack of basic hygiene services in around half of the world's healthcare facilities.
  • Patients are not given access to water, soap, or alcohol-based hand sanitisers at these facilities.
  • Only 51% of healthcare institutions provided the basic hygienic services that were required.
  • About 68% of them had sinks with water and soap for hand washing in the restrooms, while 65% had such amenities at the sites of care.
  • Additionally, just one out of every eleven medical centres worldwide possesses both.
  • Hospitals and clinics without adequate water, basic hygiene, and sanitation services are potentially lethal for vulnerable populations such as expectant mothers, newborns, and toddlers.

Increase in Various Illnesses:

  • A staggering 670,000 babies perish from sepsis each year.
  • When the body reacts to an infection by damaging its own tissues, it develops sepsis, a potentially fatal condition.

Disease Transmission Has Increased:

  • The spread of disease in healthcare facilities and the evolution of antibiotic resistance are greatly influenced by unhygienic hands and surroundings.
  • In the least developed nations, just 53% of healthcare facilities have access to clean water.
  • Hospitals perform better than smaller healthcare institutions, with a 90% share for eastern and south-eastern Asia.

Importance of Hygiene

  • Facilities and procedures for maintaining hygiene are essential in healthcare environments.
  • For pandemic recovery, prevention, and preparedness, must be improved.
  • To provide high-quality healthcare, particularly for safe deliveries, it is crucial to encourage access to handwashing with water, soap, and cleansing.

How might the problem be resolved?

  • Since the distribution of WASH facilities across geographies and income levels is still unequal.
  • Countries must carry out their pledge to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in healthcare facilities made at the 2019 World Health Assembly.

Government Initiatives

Urban Centers Carry the Brunt at the Moment:

  • 910 million people nationwide lack access to decent sanitation.
  • Despite the fact that the majority of Indians live in urban areas, funding for urban sanitation is inadequate.


Swachh Bharat's Job Creation and Toilet Access:

  • It tries to lower India's rate of open defecation. 93% of households have access to toilets between 2018 and 2019, a considerable increase from 77% the year before.
  • More than 2 million full-time people are employed in the construction of sanitary infrastructure.

Water in Rural Communities:

  • While other initiatives and departments focus on urban cleanliness, NRDWM looks after India's rural areas.
  • Providing rural families with piped water is one of the objectives.

Safe Water Stations by iJal:

  • Through its iJal water stations, the Safe Water Network, a nonprofit organization founded by Paul Newman, has reached out to communities.
  • In areas with poor access to clean, dependable water, the stations are locally owned and operated.

WASH Partners:

  • The Government of India collaborates with USAID and UNICEF.
  • As of September 2020, USAID cited recent successes, such as improved access to potable water, an increase in the number of domestic toilets, and a decline in public faeces.

Way ahead

  • Without increasing investments in fundamental practices like safe water, hygienic restrooms, and properly managed medical waste, it is impossible to ensure hygiene in healthcare facilities.
  • UNICEF emphasises the creation of demand in communities where open defecation is still prevalent, improving the supply of sanitation products and services in communities where open defecation is low but there are high proportions of unimproved latrines, and encouraging creative financing methods in communities where basic sanitation coverage is high but some households (often the poorest and most marginalized) have not yet been reached.

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Source: The Financial Express


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