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Opinion Pieces Discuss Essential Role Of WASH In Health Care Settings

Devex: Opinion: Clean water is health
Toyin Ojora-Saraki, founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa

“…Every person and organization dedicated to better, safer, and more humanitarian health care needs to consider the health workers and their patients whose access to safe health care is deeply diminished by inadequate WASH services. … By introducing adequate WASH services in health care settings, we can thwart preventable deaths and achieve universal health coverage. … This fundamental issue is one that is solvable, but it will not be solved by any single sector. Health, development, finance, and government must commit. … As we join the international community on May 5 in observing World Hand Hygiene Day and the International Day of the Midwife, it’s clear the themes of both days are deeply interconnected. We in the global health and development communities can no longer stand by in silence while mothers and newborns die from preventable and unnecessary complications, simply because the most basic of WASH services are not available” (5/4).

The Hill: Clean water is essential to health care around the globe
William Reilly, chair emeritus of the World Wildlife Fund and co-chair of the Global Water Challenge

“…The U.S. government, multi-laterals, NGOs, private sector, donors, and local governments need to plan and finance policies and programs that prioritize and maintain sustainable WASH in all health care settings. In the U.S., we have an opportunity to further elevate the federal government’s significant, recent focus on the importance of water. … As USAID goes through a redesign proposed by Administrator Mark Green, it is essential to keep the priority for clean water and sanitation for their obvious tie to health, nutrition, economic opportunity, empowering women, and so much more. … Let us not forget that disease and pandemics know no borders; prevention is the key. … The effort to shore up health care facilities is wise and urgent. Absent this prioritization, conditions are going to further decline — with even more broken pumps and dry faucets, dirty hands, and medical staff struggling daily to prevent the spread of illness and disease in facilities meant to cure” (5/5).

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