A WHO/UNICEF joint report, published earlier this week, found that only half of all health facilities around the world met the criteria for having basic hand hygiene services– a figure that drops to 32% in least developed countries (LDCs). Globally, 3.85 billion people receive care from a facility that lacks basic hygiene service. According to the report, 78% of health facilities, and 53% of health facilities in LDCs, have basic water service from an improved water source, leaving 1.7 billion people without basic water service at the point of care.
Recently published research, including the WHO/UNICEF report, has highlighted the importance that infection prevention and control (IPC) capacities have in global health, but global commitment to improving these capacities remains insufficient.
High rates of COVID-19 transmission in healthcare settings are bringing attention to the larger systemic issues arising from poor water and sanitation infrastructure in health facilities, silent epidemics of healthcare-associated infections (HAI), and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Photo by Sean Whang: Pexels
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