A step ahead: SNV’s strategic action to tackle the WASH in healthcare facilities crisis
Those of us who work on improving the safety and quality of healthcare through water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) can, during this week, smell change in the air. On Saturday 25 May, all UN Member States agreed to a resolution on WASH in healthcare facilities at the 72nd World Health Assembly. The resolution provides an important framework for, and commitment by, countries to urgently tackle the WASH in healthcare facilities crisis. This global commitment will drive progress towards addressing the needs of almost 900 million people who must seek care at health facilities with no water, and the 1.5 billion people who must seek care where no toilets are available.
While this global commitment is fairly recent, SNV has been a step ahead in planning their strategy and support to governments to tackle this crisis. Early May, SNV held their first global learning event on WASH in healthcare facilities. While SNV’s work has been focussed in strengthening WASH systems for many years – including schools and healthcare facilities – they’ve acknowledged that WASH in healthcare facilities requires news ways of working, new technical knowledge, and clear strategic planning. Their learning event delivered.
Alison Macintyre is WaterAid Australia’s Technical Lead for Health.