One Drop in healthcare facilities
"The widespread lack of WASH services in healthcare facilities not only compromises patient safety, dignity, and human rights, but it also holds back efforts to improve maternal and child health."
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO)
Healthcare facilities need sufficient WASH provisions to deliver safe quality health services, and prevent and control infections for both patients and healthcare providers. In 2018, the United Nations Secretary-General issued a Global Call to Action to prioritize action on WASH in all healthcare facilities. Previously, the World Health Organization and UNICEF had committed to the vision that every healthcare facility should have access to safely managed, reliable water, sanitation and hygiene services.
There is a major crisis when it comes to basic healthcare1: One in four healthcare facilities lack basic water services, and one in five have no sanitation service – impacting 2 and 1.5 billion people respectively. These numbers clearly point to infrastructure needs, but even more urgent is the adoption of key behaviours to protect both patients and healthcare providers. Handwashing with soap is a highly effective way to prevent infection—but up to 90% of staff does not follow best practices, even when supplies are available.
Now that this situation has been officially declared a global issue, we are even more focused on our ongoing commitment to take action in healthcare facilities. We are developing, in collaboration with donors, communities and executing partners, an integrated program to address their specific needs. One Drop’s innovative Social Art for Behaviour ChangeTM approach is being used to design new interventions aimed at ensuring that improved access to water, sanitation and handwashing stations translate into better and safer quality of care. In 2019 , we supported WASH in healthcare facilities initiatives in Haiti, Malawi, Mali and soon we will also be doing so in Burkina Faso. We are documenting what we learn and consolidating our expertise to contribute as a member of the Global Task Team, led by the World Health Organization (WHO).
1World Health Organization and UNICEF, Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) 2019