We know that strong health systems are vital if communities are to protect themselves against future pandemics. Clean water, toilets and good hygiene are critical to helping prevent and slow the spread of infections.
But worldwide, over 2 billion people are at risk because they don't have water and soap to wash their hands at home.
And half of all healthcare facilities in the world's poorest countries don't have clean water on site. As a result, doctors and nurses can’t wash their hands and equipment between patients – even during a pandemic like COVID-19.
Health centres and homes alike need access to water, sanitation and hygiene to keep people safe: to prevent and control infections, to protect mothers and babies during childbirth, and to safeguard us all from future health crises.
The importance of good hygiene
The vital role of governments
Governments simply can’t afford to ignore the very basics of healthcare.
It's time for them to take some bold steps: to build systems that protect both people and economies from emergencies, by making healthcare safe and preventing disease in the first place.
Our aims for the G7 summit
The UK Government has a key role to play in strengthening global health systems.
That's why, at the G7 summit in June, we'll be asking the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary to ensure that clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene are right where they should be: at the very heart of planning for future health threats.
Email Liz Truss
As Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss will be responsible for negotiation and planning at the G7 summit, so she can use her influence to make sure the UK helps lead the way on these discussions.
Will you email Liz Truss to remind her that a health care facility without the basics of disease prevention – clean water and soap – simply cannot be healthy?
We’ve provided a suggested email so it will only take you a few moments, but you can make it even more impactful by adding your own message about why clean water for healthcare matters to you.
Have you ever been treated in hospital? Maybe you work in healthcare or know someone who does? How does it make you feel that some doctors worldwide can’t wash their hands?