Water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities: status in middle- and low-income countries way forward
Drawing on data from 54 low- and middle-income countries, the WHO/UNICEF report concludes that 38% lack access to even rudimentary levels of water, 19% lack sanitation and 35% do not have water and soap for handwashing. In addition to documenting gaps, the report issues a call to action to strengthen policies and standards, human and financial resources, improvements at the facility level and global and national monitoring.
The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS 2014), published biannually, presents data from 94 countries and 23 external support agencies. It offers a comprehensive analysis of strengths and challenges in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) within and across countries.
Provision of water and sanitation plays an essential role in protecting human health during all disease outbreaks, including the current Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. In addition, safe handling, treatment and disposal of health-care waste (HCW) are important tasks within the broader activities of stopping the Ebola outbreak. These two question and answer documents summarize recommendations and best practices regarding water, sanitation and hygiene and health care waste to prevent transmission of EVD and many other infectious diseases.
Water quality deterioration in distribution systems, mainly caused by inappropriate planning, design and construction or inadequate operation and maintenance and water quality control, has been linked to a significant proportion of the burden of waterborne and water-related illness.
- Ebola virus disease: Key questions and answers concerning water, sanitation and hygiene [pdf 344kb]
- Fact sheet on arsenic in drinking-water
- Fact sheet on dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease)
- Fact file on sanitation and health
- Information sheets on water-related diseases
Preventing environmental health related disease in health care and other settings
Ensuring safe drinking-water
Monitoring water and sanitation for evidence-based policy and intervention
Preventing sanitation-related disease
WHO works on aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene where the health burden is high, where interventions could make a major difference and where the present state of knowledge is poor. Our work is divided into six core activities:
- Drinking-water quality management
- Water supply and sanitation monitoring
- Cholera surveillance and prevention
- Water and sanitation in different settings
- Water resources management
- Other activities (including economic aspects, climate change, and the Millenium Development Goals).
Recent WSH publications
Water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities
Technical Brief on Boil Water
Preventing diarrhoea through better water, sanitation and hygiene: exposures and impacts in low-and middle-income countries
UN-water global analysis and assessment of sanitation and drinking-water (GLAAS) 2014 - report
Safe management of wastes from health-care activities
Water Safety in Distribution Systems