WASH in health care facilities: Practical steps to achieve universal access to quality care

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In 2018, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General issued a Global Call to Action to elevate the importance of and prioritize action on WASH in all health care facilities. The call recognises the important role WASH plays in preventing infections and saving lives. As such, UN agencies, Member States, and partners are now mobilizing resources to invest more in this fundamental element for providing universal, quality care.

The purpose of this document is to present eight practical actions that Member States can take at the national and sub-national level to improve WASH in health care facilities. It also summarizes the global response to the UN Secretary General’s Call to Action. This document is a companion to the WHO and UNICEF JMP 2019 SDG baseline report for WASH in health care facilities, which provides the first national, regional and global baseline estimates for monitoring SDG 6 in health care facilities.

The main audiences for this document are national health policy makers, district health managers, professionals leading quality initiatives, and health facility administrators and staff. Additional audiences include global WASH and health partners, national water and sanitation policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, and civil society.