Approximately 1.8 billion people are at an increased risk of COVID-19 and other diseases because they use or work in health care facilities that lack basic water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. WASH is fundamental to safe and quality care. Without it, other interventions to improve quality of care have limited impact. Despite some progress, this unprecedented time highlights the vulnerabilities within health systems. Furthermore, the full extent of WASH service availability remains largely hidden because major gaps in data persist.
The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) maintains an extensive global database and serves as the leading source of comparable estimates for WASH progress at the national, regional and global levels. The recently published JMP progress report, entitled “Fundamentals first: Universal water, sanitation and hygiene services in health care facilities for safe, quality care”, updates key metrics for WASH in health care facilities. In this post, we discuss the JMP’s research methods and highlight key updates.