Categories: World

UN: Half of health care facilities around the world lack basic sanitation services

UN: Half of health care facilities around the world lack basic sanitation services

Half of health care facilities around the world lack basic sanitation services, exposing the nearly four billion people who use these facilities to an increased risk of infection, the United Nations announced today.

These facilities do not have water, soap or hand sanitizer in the areas where patients receive their treatment or in the toilets, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.

According to the two UN agencies, 688 million people are being treated in facilities that lack everything.

“Hygiene facilities and practices in healthcare settings are non-negotiable,” Maria Neira, the WHO’s public health and environment manager, said in a statement.

“Improving them is essential for pandemic recovery, prevention and preparedness. Sanitation conditions in health care facilities cannot be ensured without increasing investment in key areas, including drinking water, clean toilets and safe management of sanitary waste,” she said.

These new figures, based on data from 40 countries, paint a “worrying picture” of the state of hygiene in healthcare facilities.

The report highlights that 68% of health facilities had hygiene equipment where care was provided and 65% had facilities for handwashing with soap and water in toilets. However, only 51% had both and therefore met the basic criteria for required conditions in health care facilities.

Furthermore, 9% of healthcare facilities worldwide have neither.

The report says facilities in sub-Saharan Africa lag behind, with only 37% having facilities for handwashing with soap and water in toilets.

Globally, about 3% of health care facilities in urban areas and 11% in rural areas did not have running water.

The report was presented at the World Water Week taking place in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. It is an annual conference, taking place from 23 August to 1 September, which seeks new ways to tackle the biggest challenges facing humanity: from food insecurity and health to agriculture, technology, biodiversity and climate.

SOURCE: AMPE

Source: Capital