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WASH in Healthcare Facilities

Enrollment is Closed

Course Start

Apr 01, 2022


Course End

Apr 30, 2023







About this Course

Limited water, sanitation, hygiene, waste management, and cleaning (WASH) in health care facilities (HCF) are key vulnerabilities in health systems that can significantly affect the quality of care. Globally, one in four HCF lack basic water services, one in ten HCF have no sanitation services, one third of HCF lack handwashing facilities at point of care, and one third of HCF lack systems to segregate waste. Due to major data gaps, there is no baseline data on environmental cleaning in HCF. Under-prioritization of WASH in HCF has contributed to a higher risk of infection, increased use of antibiotics, and acceleration of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), especially among vulnerable populations.

There is a need for increased awareness among healthcare professionals on the importance of WASH in quality health care, as well as to develop their capacities to sustain WASH services and promote and practice good hygiene and safe water messaging given water’s critical linkages to nutrition, medication adherence, and safe birthing.

This course provides an overview of technical evidence and guidance for supporting better WASH in healthcare facilities to enhance patient health outcomes. The course’s WASH design and delivery considerations especially reflect the needs of people living with HIV (PHLIV) that are accessing care in Sub-Saharan Africa, including maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) services.

What you will learn

After completing the course, the participants will be able to:

  • Explain WASH measures used to assess quality of service.
  • Understand, support, and advocate for the importance of WASH in quality health care, especially for vulnerable populations, including people accessing HIV or MNCH services.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of WASH sector terms and concepts, such as the WASH servicing standards, climate resilience, and environmental sustainability.
  • Utilize tools and resources to conduct a baseline analysis of and improve WASH and quality of care in health care facilities.

Target Audience

This introductory course has been developed for healthcare professionals, peer supporters, and community workers interested in improving WASH and environmental sanitation in healthcare facilities.

Course Developed by

Lina Taing

Senior Researcher: Water and Health
United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health

Francois Daudelin

United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health

The course builds upon WHO's WASHFIT course with additional contributions from Malvika Agarwal (UNU-INWEH Water and Health Intern) and Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa (PATA)

Photo credit: Wateraid / 2000

  1. Course Number

  2. Classes Start

    Available Now
  3. Classes End

  4. Estimated Effort

  5. Length

    10:00 hours
  6. Institute

    UNU-INWEH & PATA from material adapted from WHO
  7. Certificate

  8. Language