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The Global Handwashing Partnership

Achieving quality health services for all, through better water, sanitation and hygiene: Lessons from three African countries

Published: December 9, 2020

Achieving Health for All, and in particular universal health coverage (UHC), will not happen without fully functioning basic water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in all health care facilities. Such services are needed to provide quality care, ensure adherence to infection prevention and control (IPC) norms and standards and guarantee that facilities are able to provide environments that respect the dignity and human rights of all care seekers, especially mothers, newborns and children.

WHO undertook a series of national situational analyses in three countries (Ghana, Ethiopia and Rwanda) to understand current barriers to change, accountability structures and measures to strengthen WASH in health care facilities and more broadly, the quality of health service delivery. All three countries have ongoing activities on national strategic direction on quality, WASH in health care facilities and IPC. This brief summarizes some of the unique and common methods used in each country which resulted in improvements in the quality of care through improved WASH services.

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