Water sanitation hygiene

WASH reflections series

This new series offers insights on addressing today’s key WASH and health challenges, sharing honest reflections based on real-world experiences.
The first issue in the series Water safety planning: What have we learned so far? shares lessons learned from the past 15 years of practical implementation of water safety plans (WSPs), presenting candid observations and ideas for future WSP programme strengthening.

May 5 Global Hand Hygiene Day 2019: “Clean care for all – it's in your hands”

WHO calls on everyone to be inspired by the global movement to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), i.e. achieving better health and well-being for all people at all ages. Infection Prevention and Control, including hand hygiene, is critical to achieving UHC as it is a practical and evidence-based approach with demonstrated impact on quality of care and patient safety across all levels of the health system. This year’s theme is “Clean care for all – it’s in your hands”.

WASH in health care facilities: two new global documents published

A health care staff washing hands
Tom Greenwood/Wateraid

Basic services (including WASH: water, sanitation, hygiene, waste management and environmental cleaning) in health care facilities, particularly in maternity and primary care settings, are essential for achieving universal health coverage and for supporting aspects of quality, equity and dignity for all people. WHO and UNICEF have released two companion reports which provide the first global SDG baselines for WASH in health care facilities and outline a set of eight practical actions that countries can take at the national and sub-national level to achieve universal access. The latter also describes the WHO and UNICEF response to the 2018 UN Secretary-General’s Call to Action on WASH in health care facilities, including a global vision, and set of targets and metrics.

A guide to equitable water safety planning

The lack of access to safe drinking-water is felt disproportionately by those who are disadvantaged socially, economically, demographically or geographically, and explicit consideration of these groups is required to reduce disparities. This document describes how, with relatively modest efforts, the water safety plan (WSP) approach can bring tangible improvements in water quality and availability for all users.

Microplastics in drinking-water

1st page of the article

WHO has commissioned a review on the occurrence of microplastics in freshwaters and drinking water. This open access journal article summarizes the quality of occurrence studies and the data on concentrations, polymer types and particle shapes. It also proposes best practices for microplastic occurrence studies.

2019 World Water Day

2019 World Water Day illustration

World Water Day is coming up on 22nd March in the theme of “No One Left Behind”.
- Learn about the topic - theme facts and figures and stories to get inspired related to the topic.
- Organize an event/activity - add your event to our world map, promote it and link up to others. Download posters, factsheet, logos and campaign memes.
- Support the cause on your favourite social media channel.

WASH and Health working together: A new toolkit for practical collaboration

This toolkit, developed in collaboration with the Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network (NNN), provides step-by-step practical guidance to Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) programme managers and partners on how to engage effectively with the WASH community and encourage better targeting of WASH services to most affected or at-risk populations.

NEW: WHO Guidelines on sanitation and health

1 OCTOBER 2018 - The new WHO Guidelines on Sanitation and Health articulate the role of the health sector in driving progress on access to safe sanitation and provide recommendations, implementation guidance and technical resources to maximize the health outcomes of sanitation interventions, based on a comprehensive review of evidence.

Progress of wastewater treatment: Monitoring methods and initial findings for SDG6.3.1

The SDG6.3.1 indicator report on “proportion of wastewater safely treated” describes the monitoring methodology and also presents preliminary estimates for domestic wastewater for 79 mostly high- and middle-income countries as well as supplementary data on safe use of wastewater. The report is produced as part of the UN-Water GEMI initiative for SDG6.3-6.6.

About us

WHO works on aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) where the health burden is high and where evidence-based interventions could make a major difference.

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