Current status + progress
Achieving and maintaining WASH services in health care facilities is critical for universal quality health coverage, infection prevention and control (IPC), patient safety, and child and maternal health, in particular the time around child delivery. WASH also extends beyond health impacts to issues of dignity and respect, staff morale, and performance and safety. Accordingly, WASH in health care facilities is part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets related to WASH. The SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2 refer to universal and equitable access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all. The term ‘universal’ implies all settings, including households, schools, health care facilities, workplaces and public spaces. Target 3.8 aims to provide access to quality essential health-care services for all. Moreover, WASH in health care facilities is directly related to a number of other health goals, namely reducing maternal mortality, and under-five and neonatal mortality (SDG targets 3.1 and 3.2).
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), through the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP), have been producing regular updates on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) since 1990. Together, they are responsible for monitoring the SDG targets related to WASH in households, schools and healthcare facilities. The JMP published a global baseline report WASH in health care facilities in 2019 and releases progress updates every two years.
Notes on the data
WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene
Since 1990, WHO and UNICEF have tracked progress on global water and sanitation goals through the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP). Further information about the JMP and its methodology can be found at the JMP website.
JMP service ladders for WASH in health care facilities
* Improved water sources are those that by nature of their design and construction have the potential to deliver safe water. These include piped water, boreholes or tubewells, protected dug wells, protected springs, rainwater, and packaged or delivered water. Improved sanitation facilities are those designed to hygienically separate human excreta from human contact. These include wet sanitation technologies – such as flush and pour-flush toilets connecting to sewers, septic tanks or pit latrines – and dry sanitation technologies – such as dry pit latrines with slabs, and composting toilets.