Progress on WASH in healthcare facilities


Rose Kajawo is seen cleaning and disinfecting surfaces at the Blantyre Emergency Treatment Unit in Kameza, Malawi on Monday 9 February 2021.
UNICEF Malawi/2021/Chikondi


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 produced regular updates on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) since 1990. Together, they are responsible for monitoring the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets related to WASH. Targets 6.1 and 6.2 refer to universal and equitable access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for all (Table 1). The term ‘universal’ implies all settings, including households, schools, health care facilities, workplaces and public spaces, and since 2019 the JMP has maintained a global database on WASH services in health care facilities. WASH in health care facilities is also essential for achievement of target 3.8 which aims to provide access to quality essential health care services for all. The JMP releases progress updates on WASH in households, WASH in schools and WASH in health care facilities every two years.  The JMP uses service ladders to benchmark and track progress on WASH services. For the purpose of global monitoring, the definition of WASH in health care facilities includes not only water supply, sanitation and hand hygiene, but also health care waste management and environmental cleaning, which in health care settings are closely related to sanitation and hygiene.

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