Link to see the symposium via YouTube
Date: October 14th 2020
The purpose of this symposium was to motivate LAC countries to advance toward access and sustainable management of WASH in all HCF in a partnership between the health and water/sanitation sectors under the guiding values of the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health, equity in health, Pan-American solidarity, universality, and social inclusion.
- Ministers of health of the countries of the Region of the Americas.
- National authorities responsible for the management of water and sanitation services of the countries of the Region.
- Agencies of the United Nations System
- Academic institutions
- National agencies for international development
- Non-governmental organizations
- Financial institutions
- Civil society
The safe provision and management of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in healthcare facilities (HCF) is essential to reduce the risk of infection in patients, caregivers, health workers and communities. This need has become more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Universal access to and sustainable management of WASH services is a central component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reflected in several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including SDG 1 (Guarantee equity and equality for all in access to basic services), SDG 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages), and SDG 6 (Ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation). The World Health Assembly resolution "Water, sanitation and hygiene in health centers" (document EB144.R5), and the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Directing Council resolution "Strategy and Plan of Action to Improve Quality of Care in Health Service Delivery 2020-2025” (document CD57.R13) of 2019 demonstrate the commitment of the countries to provide safe WASH services in all HCF.
The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have made progress toward providing safe WASH services in HCF in recent years. However, there are still significant gaps that urgently need to be addressed. For example, 17% of HCF do not access water through a public network, and of those that do, 54% have quality issues. About 12% of HCF do not have operational toilets for patients and 40% of HCF lack soap for hand washing. In addition, 17% of HCF do not classify their solid waste and 15% do not treat the waste, disposing it in unsafe places such as dumps, open burning, and bodies of water.
- Practical steps to achieve universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities. Ms. Margaret Montgomery, WHO and Mr. Alban Nouvellon, UNICEF
- Containment of antimicrobial resistance in health care facilities. Water, sanitation and hygiene: essential for containing antimicrobial resistance. Lessons from the Global Action Plan against AMR. Dr. Pilar Ramón-Pardo, WHO/PAHO (Spanish only)
- Water, sanitation and hygiene: Essential conditions for the safety and quality of care in the provision of health services - Amalia del Riego
- Infographic presentation of the situation in committed countries. Dr.Leo Heller, ONU (Spanish only)
- Panel with national health, and water and sanitation authorities from two countries: - Bolivia (Spanish only) - México (Spanish only)
Messages of support from governments, regulators entities, partners and donors in Latin America and the Caribbean for the initiative for water, sanitation and hygiene in health facilities "An urgent action"
Available only in Spanish.
Video de la reunión