Honourable chair and delegates, WaterAid welcomes the report on water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities. We applaud the leadership of WHO and Member States in raising WASH in Healthcare Facilities to the forefront of patient safety.
WaterAid encourages Member States and WHO to seize the opportunity to drive the step change required to achieve adequate WASH services in all healthcare facilities to provide the foundations for UHC. We urge Member States to support the leadership of Eswatini, Tanzania and Zambia in proposing a resolution for discussion at WHA 72. The resolution would provide the framework and accountability to drive action on the WASH in healthcare facility crisis.
We call on Member States and WHO to
- Support and co-sponsor the proposed resolution on WASH in healthcare facilities at WHA 72
- Ensure the resolution and country-level progress address inequalities in WASH services, targeting areas where WASH needs are greatest and prioritising the specific needs of those most at risk due to inadequate WASH services, including pregnant women, newborns, people with disabilities, the seriously ill and marginalised populations
- Allocate adequate domestic and external financing to deliver on national plans for WASH in Healthcare Facilities, as part of health system-strengthening investments.
- Develop standards and monitoring mechanisms to consider advanced levels of WASH in facilities providing secondary and tertiary care, such as overcrowded facilities with high rates of caesarean section and neonatal special care units
Achieving universal access to WASH in healthcare facilities through sustained leadership, cross-sector action and strengthening health systems is a winnable battle. WaterAid will build on its WASH in healthcare facilities activities in 16 countries to contribute to the global response to the UN Secretary General’s Call to Action and support country-led action to ensure WASH in healthcare facilities for all.