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Superbugs flourish as a quarter of health facilities lack basic water services worldwide

Superbugs flourish as a quarter of health facilities lack basic water services worldwide

One in four healthcare facilities around the world lack even basic access to water services, exacerbating the spread of drug resistant superbugs, a major report has warned. In the first comprehensive review of access to water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) in healthcare centres, Unicef and the World Health Organization found that roughly two billion

One in four healthcare facilities around the world lack even basic access to water services, exacerbating the spread of drug resistant superbugs, a major report has warned.

In the first comprehensive review of access to water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) in healthcare centres, Unicef and the World Health Organization found that roughly two billion people use health facilities lacking basic water services globally – while almost 900 million people use centres with no water services at all. 

The report, published on Wednesday, added that one in five healthcare facilities do not have toilets – impacting 1.5 billion people.

“Water, sanitation and hygiene services in health facilities are the most basic requirements of infection prevention and control, and of quality care,” said António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General.

“They are fundamental to respecting the dignity and human rights of every person who seeks health care and of health workers themselves,” he added.

Poor sanitary conditions have been directly linked to rising rates of so-called superbugs, which develop when bacteria and other pathogens become resistant to antibiotics.



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