Tag Archives: WASH in healthcare facilities

When Water Doesn’t Flow: Why Lack of Water Matters in Healthcare Facilities

When Water Doesn’t Flow: Why Lack of Water Matters in Healthcare Facilities. PLoS Global Health Blog, June 29, 2017.

Why Lack of Water Matters in Healthcare Facilities

Water, as well as the availability of sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, are essential to providing safe, quality healthcare. Without water, surfaces remain unclean and medical equipment cannot be sterilized. Water shortages within healthcare facilities are particularly concerning when thinking about the water needed for surgery or in maternity units.

ghana

When water does not flow from the piped water supply within the hospital, jerry cans (the yellow containers shown) are used to collect water from a nearby lake

According to the World Health Organization’s Essential Environmental Health Standards in Health Care, 100 liters of water are needed per medical intervention preformed in healthcare facilities.  As an example, if one hospital in Ghana reported that 138 babies were born in one month then 13,800 liters of water would be needed to ensure safe delivery of all babies. Based on my experiences as a researcher and a patient in a rural Ghana hospital, meeting this requirement would be virtually impossible.

During my hospitalization, water did not flow through the pipes within the hospital and the donated water treatment system was not operating due to water scarcity and intermittent power in the region.

The lack of water sparked a series of managerial decisions, which in turn affected patients’ access to toilets and handwashing facilities, which led to clinical staffing shortages. Without adequate water in the hospital, management locked the bathrooms within the wards and rationed water for staff handwashing.

My infirmed neighboring bedmates were told to use an open area behind the ward to relieve themselves. In a few cases, these sick patients were too weak to do so, and the floor next to their beds quickly became soiled contributing to environmental contamination. The hospital would then dispatch valuable nursing staff to a lake –located half a mile away to get water in order to clean floors.

Read the complete article.

May 3, 2017 Webinar: WASH Counts in Healthcare Facilities!

To learn how WASH can prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infections, join Medentech and the Global Handwashing Partnership on May 3 at 10 am EST for a webinar observing Hand Hygiene Day (May 5). WASH-in-HCFs-webinar-flyer-724x1024

During this webinar, experts will share information on how to improve WASH in HCFs, including:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) will share an update from the WHO/UNICEF Global Action Plan on WASH in HCF;
  • USAID’s Maternal & Child Program (MCSP) will discuss how WASH underpins quality of care and contributes to health systems strengthening effort, as well as the Clean Clinic Approach, a WASH program that empowers HCFs to become clean, safe, and desirable;
  • The Beninese Association for Social Marketing (Association Béninoise pour le Marketing Social (ABMS), a member of the PSI network) will provide an overview of how it supports HCFs in Benin to improve hygiene and make services safer for patients;
  • Medentech will share lessons learned from its work in infection prevention across the world and offer some tools for continued hygiene improvement in healthcare clinics globally.

Presenters will also share links to educational resources and tools during the webinar.

We look forward to having you join us on May 3 at 10 am EST!  Please register here: bit.ly/WASHinHCF.

Water and sanitation in health centres in Mali – podcast

Water and sanitation in health centres in Mali – podcast | Source: The Guardian, April 28, 2015 |

Lucy Lamble presents this edition of the Global development podcast, looking at how the lack of water and sanitation is affecting health centres in Mali. Just 20% of the country’s health facilities provide clean water.

Photo from WaterAid

Photo from WaterAid

She visits Diatoula, 15km south-east of Bamako, a community of 1,000 people which has one health centre, and hears from Nurse Vinima Baya about how they cope with the lack of water within the facility, with patients and their families gathering buckets of water from the village well.

At Kalabancoro town on the outskirts of Bamako, Lucy visits a clinic opened in 2013, which has done much to improve healthcare for local residents – but where staff still have to buy safe drinking water or ask patients to bring it in.

We hear from experts including Mamadou Diarafa Diallo, WaterAid’s country representative in Mali, and Maggie Montgomery, from WHO’s Water, Sanitation and Health unit, on the problems the country faces in improving access to safe water.