Gathering Global Experts to Discuss WASH in HCFs
Marisol Grandon/Department for International Development
In recognition that it is an increasingly emerging global priority, from 21st to 24th March 2016, SHARE, WHO and UNICEF brought together around 50 stakeholders including: WHO and UNICEF technical staff, health specialists, policy-makers, WASH experts and implementers, researchers and donors for a global meeting on WASH in HCFs.
Specifically, the series of three workshops sought to take stock of progress since the 2015 global meeting in Geneva and plan how to maximize efforts, formulate the basis for developing a burden of disease framework associated with WASH in HCFs, and update the global action plan accordingly.
Amongst other issues discussed, broad consensus was evident on the following points:
- WASH in HCFs is critical to many health areas including safe and resilient health systems, MNH, IPC and antimicrobial resistance. Despite progress, further collaborative efforts by numerous stakeholders are needed to fully embed WASH within health.
- Accountability mechanisms and effective incentives are essential.
- Existing evidence needs to be systematically documented and reported, and more evidence is needed on health impacts and service delivery solutions.
- Lessons from the WASH sector should be examined and used.
- To catalyse change, major bottlenecks to strengthening policy, financing, accountability and delivery of WASH services should be identified and addressed.
- Greater engagement of communities is needed.
- “How to” solutions should be documented and shared to demonstrate proof of concept and support progress at all levels.
- Cost assessments are needed to quantify the burden of lack of WASH services and encourage greater investments.
A range of next steps that the four global task teams (established post-Geneva) will undertake were agreed and cover advocacy, monitoring, research and facility improvement activities. Excitingly, SHARE has committed to conducting a systematic review of WASH and health care associated infections and leading on the development of a burden of disease analysis.
SHARE looks forward to starting this work and will keep you updated.