Africa Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Africa Water, Sanitation Jan -Feb 2014 Vol.10 No1 - Page 10

NEWS in brief Campaigning for better WASH in health care facilities By Cor Dietvorst WHO is launching a global plan of action to improve access to WASH at all health care facilities. This kind of intersectoral collaboration is set to become a major theme in the post-2015 development agenda. Better access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in health care facilities is crucial for mothers and babies to stay healthy. It is just as important as curative measures says Dr Maria Neira, the Director of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization (WHO). She announced that WHO will launch a global plan of action by March 2015 on improving access to WASH at all health care facilities. In December 2014, a group of academics and representatives from WASH and maternal and newborn health (MNH) agencies, including WHO, presented a call to action for intersectoral collaboration. They backed up their call with recent SHARE-funded research, which found that less than a third of births in Tanzania take place in a setting with safe water and sanitation. Forthcoming WHO research surveyed health care facilities in 54 low-income countries and found ]