Interventions to increase access to handwashing with water and soap and environmental cleaning form the cornerstone of infection prevention and control programmes and are crucial to providing quality care, particularly for safe childbirth, the report says.
A UNICEF report on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) says that 62 per cent of Bangladesh’s healthcare facilities lacked basic hygiene service. The figure includes both the government and the non-government health care facilities taken together, says the report released on Tuesday.
The report says that there is a significant difference between government and non-government facilities with 32 per cent of government facilities having basic hygiene services compared to 69 per cent of the non-government facilities.
There are geographical disparities too, the report says, pointing out that access to safe water sources in health care facilities is more common in urban areas (90 per cent) than in rural areas (67 per cent).
At the global level, half of the world’s health care facilities lack basic hygiene services with water and soap or alcohol-based hand-rub where patients receive care and at toilets in these facilities. The latest joint monitoring programme report by WHO and UNICEF reveals that 688 million people receive care at facilities with no hygiene service at all.
Kelly Ann Naylor, UNICEF Director of WASH and climate, environment, energy, and disaster risk reduction (ceed) said that hospitals and clinics without safe water and basic hygiene and sanitation services are a potential death trap for pregnant mothers, newborns, and children. Every year, around 670,000 newborns lose their lives to sepsis, Naylor says, describing it as a travesty – even more so as their deaths are preventable.
The report notes that contaminated hands and environments play a significant role in pathogen transmission in health care facilities and the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Interventions to increase access to handwashing with water and soap and environmental cleaning form the cornerstone of infection prevention and control programmes and are crucial to providing quality care, particularly for safe childbirth.