Ten Immediate WASH Actions in Healthcare Facilities for COVID-19 Response. Compiled by Lindsay Denny, Global Water 2020, April 2020.
This page describes ten immediate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) actions that low-resource healthcare facilities can undertake with limited budget in the near-term (0-3 months) to prepare for and address COVID-19.
On the second page, WHO and UNICEF have provided input on how to best adapt their Eight Practical Steps in the midst of COVID-19.
Finally, we have compiled resources for action. While some activities may be temporary stopgaps, the goal is to provide incremental improvements that can be sustained and built upon after the outbreak subsides.
In particular, the proper management of WASH will be critical to protect healthcare workers and prevent infections. WHO has stated that WASH guidelines for COVID-19 are the same as for preventing other infections.
The immediacy of the outbreak will require healthcare facilities, Ministries of Health, and partners to prioritize activities, with a focus on infection prevention and control and preparing for an influx of patients, causing greater demand on WASH services.
The Role of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare Settings to Reduce Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance. Antimicrobial Resistance Control, July 2016.
This article by USAID’s Rochelle Rainey and Merri Weinger concludes that antimicrobial resistance is a multisectoral problem that requires a comprehensive strategy, including WASH improvements, to prevent emergence and transmission.
The lack of safe water, functional toilets, and handwashing facilities in healthcare settings poses significant health risks to patients, healthcare workers and nearby communities. The ongoing global problem of health facility-acquired infections (HAI) has highlighted the consequences of the lack of water and sanitation facilities and practice of key hygiene behaviours.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a multisectoral problem that requires a comprehensive strategy, including WASH improvements, to prevent emergence and transmission. Hand hygiene has been cited as the single most important practice to reduce HAI, and improved hand hygiene practices have been associated with a sustained decrease in the incidence of antimicrobial-resistant infections in healthcare settings.
WASH also plays a role in the cleaning of surfaces and bedding for preventing transmission of HAI. Leadership and commitment is needed from governments, international and local organizations, donors and civil society to implement the global action plan to achieve universal access to WASH in healthcare facilities.