Resolving A Fundamental Challenge In Global Health

Photo credit: Haik Kocharian for Village Health Partnership


A healthcare facility without water, sanitation, and hygiene is not a healthcare facility.”
– Dr. Maria Neira, World Health Organization

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Assembly Chamber
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Global Water 2020 and Global Health Council invite you to join an historic gathering that will significantly advance healthcare for millions of the world’s poor. On June 19, 2019, leaders from diverse organizations and experience will assemble in Washington, DC to announce actionable commitments to ensure that no person, wherever they live, receives treatment at a healthcare facility that lacks water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services.

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Media is invited to attend (RSVP required)

The Challenge
It should go without saying: safe water, functioning toilets, and soap are necessary at hospitals and clinics to prevent infections, to protect women in childbirth and vulnerable newborns, to carry out safe surgery, and to confront antibiotic resistance and pandemic disease. Yet in low- and middle-income countries, 50% of healthcare facilities lack piped water, 33% lack access to improved sanitation facilities, and 66% lack access to handwashing soap and running water, undermining quality of care and endangering patients and the healthcare workforce.

Historic Call to Action
UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced his historic Call to Action in March 2018, which envisions universal and sustainable access to WASH in Healthcare Facilities (WASH in HCF) by 2030. The Call to Action is now is embodied in a formal Resolution of the World Health Assembly passed by the 194 Member States in May 2019, committing countries to meet global standards for adequate and sustainable WASH in HCF services.

A Groundswell of Support
The Stakeholder Commitments Gathering will represent the breadth of organizations – NGOs, philanthropies, healthcare delivery organizations (secular and faith-based), governments, financial institutions, corporations, universities and more – all dedicated to effective healthcare in countries of greatest need. To solve the challenge at scale, those responsible for health services and for WASH infrastructure must come together to establish and maintain these services in all healthcare facilities.

Every Commitment Matters
Support can take all forms. At this convening, organizations will pledge significant financial resources. Others will commit to  expanding programs and adopting WASH in HCF priorities as part of their core missions or strategic plans for the coming years. Some will contribute in-kind services and expertise in the form of advocacy, training and technical guidance, project monitoring and evaluation, donations of products and services and more. Others, new to the issue, will commit to place WASH in HCF before their leadership, to consider expanding activities.

All are urged to commit in whatever way possible to support this urgent Call to Action. It is only through the efforts of all entities, public and private, that progress will accelerate to ensure safe, effective and dignified healthcare throughout the developing world.

To learn more & RSVP (required)
Media is invited to attend (RSVP required)

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