Tag Archives: health care

Save Lives: Clean Your Hands – 5 May 2013

Save lives: Clean Your Hands. Photo: WHO

Photo: WHO

This annual global campaign on 5 May supports the World Health Organization’s (WHO) effort to improve hand hygiene in health care and thus prevent often life threatening healthcare-associated infections (HAI).

It was launched in 2009 as a follow-up to WHO’s First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care work.

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Afghanistan: medical waste poses health risk in urban areas

Solid waste produced by the health-care system in Kabul and other major cities is not being properly managed and poses a serious public health risk, according to health experts.

Medical waste – including used needles and syringes, soiled dressings, body parts, diagnostic samples, blood, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and medical devices – is lying in open rubbish dumps near hospitals in urban areas.


Afghanistan does not have bylaws on the safe management of medical waste, and over 60 public and private hospitals in Kabul do not have incinerators or other equipment to deal with the problem.


At least seven children involved in scavenging in Herat Province, western Afghanistan, have been infected by hepatitis B, syphilis and suspected cases of HIV, the Children Protection Action Network (C-PAN) reported.


Officials at Kabul Municipality also reported at least two suspected cases of hepatitis B among city cleaners in September.

Related web site: WHO – Healthcare Waste Management

Source: IRIN, 14 Oct 2008

Essential environmental health standards in health care [publication]

Essential environmental health standards in health care
Edited by John Adams, Jamie Bartram, Yves Chartier
World Health Organization, 2008, 57 p.

Health–care associated infections affect between 5 and 30% of patients. The associated burden of disease is extremely high, and is a significant drain on health-sector resources and households. Ensuring safe environmental health conditions in health care can reduce the transmission of health care associated infections. This not only applies for health care institutions, but also for home-based care.

This document provides guidance on essential environmental health standards required for health care in medium- and low-resource countries and support the development and implementation of national policies.

These guidelines have been written for use by health managers and planners, architects, urban planners, water and sanitation staff, clinical and nursing staff, carers and other health-care providers, and health promoters.

These guidelines deal specifically with water supply (water quality, quantity and access), excreta disposal, drainage, health-care waste management, cleaning and laundry, food storage and preparation, control of vector-borne disease, building design (including ventilation), construction and management, and hygiene promotion. They are designed primarily for use in health-care settings in precarious situations, and in situations where simple and affordable measures can improve hygiene and health significantly.

Download the full document here