Male patients are treated in this room at the Hospital Geral de Luanda, one of the three reference centres for yellow fever patients in Luanda province, Angola.

Hospitals are health care institutions that have an organized medical and other professional staff, and inpatient facilities, and deliver services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. They offer a varying range of acute, convalescent and terminal care using diagnostic and curative services.

Hospitals need to be organized around people’s needs, working closely with other health and social care services and contributing to strengthening primary health care (PHC) and public health services, to substantially contribute to Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

WHO/D. Lourenco
A nurse washing her hands at a hospital

Health care facilities

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in health care facilities are fundamental for the provision of quality, people-centered care. Such services also reduce health care-related infections, increase trust and uptake of services, increase efficiency and decrease cost of service delivery and improve staff morale. All major initiatives to improve global health depend on basic WASH services in health care facilities.

WHO/C. Black
Nurse taking care of a child

Health care

Patient safety is a serious global public health issue. Estimates show that in developed countries as many as one in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care.


fact buffet


36%of total health care expenditures account for hospital infrastructure, medical equipment and vehicles.

More about medical equipment


35%of health care facilities do not have water and soap for hand-washing.

More about WASH in health care facilities

Hospital care

10%of patients are harmed while receiving hospital care.

10 facts on patient safety

Regional information

Eastern Mediterranean Region

European Region

South-East Asia Region

Western Pacific Region