A 2018 report on healthcare facilities in 78 developing countries revealed 50% lack access to piped water, 39% to handwashing soap, and 33% are without improved toilets. Uganda is no exception to the global water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) deficit. The need for sustainable, clean water sources is being acutely felt in western Uganda where rural healthcare facilities are facing the possibility of Ebola being transmitted across the Democratic Republic of the Congo border and effective infection prevention depends on abundant clean water.
While WASH infrastructure is necessary to establishing safe healthcare facilities, it is not enough. Adequate training of staff, administrative commitment to WASH promotion, integration with infection prevention and control strategies, and reliable supply chains also factor into improving the safety of healthcare facility environments. Achieving improvements in health through safe and clean healthcare facilities is a complex problem requiring multidimensional solutions. WHD is working to determine an optimal approach for enabling sustainable WASH practices in rural healthcare facilities in Uganda.
It is our goal to create recommendations that will translate into improved sustainability of WASH services in healthcare facilities in Uganda that could ultimately be adapted to a variety of contexts and locations and implemented at scale.