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Improved WASH In Health Facilities Important Development Goal; Clean Water Could Prevent 1 In 5 Newborn Deaths, Reports Say

News outlets highlight findings from a report on WASH in health facilities from the WHO and UNICEF, as well as an accompanying paper from WaterAid.

Bloomberg Business: 1 in 5 Newborn Deaths Preventable With Clean Water
“One in five newborn deaths could be prevented with safe water and sanitation suitable for a modern world, the development organization WaterAid said Tuesday. … WaterAid’s paper accompanies a new World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund report showing that 38 percent of hospitals and clinics in 54 low- and middle-income countries lack access to any water source…” (Hackley, 3/17).

The Guardian: Lack of safe water, sanitation, and soap ‘an embarrassment,’ says WHO
“…The report is a first step towards a baseline study as NGOs and health organizations encourage governments, donors, and stakeholders to make water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in health contexts both a higher political priority and measurable as part of the new Sustainable Development Goals. Better data is crucial for WASH access to be included in indicators on heath, education, and gender goals…” (Lamble, 3/17).

Reuters: Half a million babies die each year in unhygienic hospitals
“…As well as killing young babies, the same unhygienic conditions also fuel major disease outbreaks such as cholera epidemics in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Malawi, Tanzania, and South Sudan, the report found…” (Kelland, 3/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.