These services are crucial to preventing infections, reducing the spread of antimicrobial resistance and providing quality care, particularly for safe childbirth. The report found that just half – 55 per cent – of health care facilities in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) had basic water services. It is estimated that 1 in 5 births globally takes place in LDCs, and that, each year, 17 million women in these countries give birth in health centres with inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene.
In an accompanying report, Water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities: Practical steps to achieve universal access for quality care, WHO and UNICEF researchers note that more than 1 million deaths each year are associated with unclean births. Infections account for 26% of neonatal deaths and 11% of maternal mortality.
- Access the report WASH in Health Care Facilities.
- Access the report Water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities: Practical steps to achieve universal access for quality care.
- More facts on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) you find here.