Hospitals and healthcare centres should be hygienic places for people to seek care and leave healthier than when they arrived.

In many parts of the world healthcare facilities lack water, toilets and good hygiene practices, increasing the likelihood of them becoming hotspots for untreatable infections.

This puts patients and staff at risk of illness. It deters people from trusting health services and seeking care, and compromises health workers’ ability to provide safe care.

WaterAid is committed to improving hygiene, water, toilets and waste systems in health facilities to ensure everyone, everywhere, can enjoy dignified and quality healthcare services that improve their lives.

We are creating new partnerships with ministries of health, medical professionals and health organisations to help fulfil this ambition. The World Health Organization (WHO) is engaging WaterAid’s advocacy experience in influencing health experts to make sure that improving hygiene, water and sanitation at health centres is at the top of the global health agenda.

In Cambodia, WaterAid is working with WHO to advise the Cambodian Ministry of Health on guidelines for water and sanitation in health centres across the country to ensure standards meet those set by WHO. We are also trialling an approach to routinely collect information on water supply, toilets, hygiene and waste management in health centres across the country so that progress on improving hygiene and reducing the risk of infection can be tracked as part of national health plans.

In the Solomon Islands, WaterAid has conducted a survey with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health to collect baseline information on water, toilets and waste management at health centres across the country.