Conference abstract

Evaluation of water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure in rural healthcare facilities, Kamwenge district, Uganda, 2017

Pan African Medical Journal - Conference Proceedings. 2017:3(51).23 Dec 2017.
doi: 10.11604/pamj-cp.2017.3.51.200

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Keywords: Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), healthcare facilities (HCFs), sustainable development
Oral presentation

Evaluation of water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure in rural healthcare facilities, Kamwenge district, Uganda, 2017

Emily Atuheire1,&, Jarred McAteer1, Sae-Rom Chae1, Daniel Kadobera1, Alex Riolexus Ario1, Rob Quick1

1Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program, Kampala, Uganda

&Corresponding author
Emily Atuheire, Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program, Kampala, Uganda

Abstract

Introduction: lack of access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities (HCFs) poses health risks to patients and health workers. Universal WASH coverage in HCFs is included among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. We evaluated access to safe water, handwashing facilities, and drinking water in HCFs in Kamwenge District, Uganda.

Methods: we interviewed HCF staff and conducted environmental assessments of HCFs that included HCF characteristics, water sources and treatment methods, and the availability of hand-washing and drinking-water stations. Additionally, we tested water samples from HCF water sources and drinking water points for Escherichia coli (E. coli).

Results: of the 62 HCFs surveyed, 30 (48%) were public and 32 (52%) were private. Outpatient services were provided by all HCFs and inpatient services by 42 (67%) HCFs. Water supplies were on the premises for 32 (52%). Improved water supplies were the main source for 52 (84%) HCFs. Water was unavailable from the main source for 3 months of the year in 16 (26%) HCFs. Regular interruptions in water supply were reported by 66% of HCFs. Of the 62 HCFs, 41 (66%) had hand-washing facilities with water and soap. While 32 (52%) HCFs reported usually having drinking water for staff and patients, only 23 (37%) had drinking water on interview day. Regular drinking water treatment was reported by 30 (48%) of 62 HCFs. E. coli contamination was found in 18 (49%) of 37 source water samples and 2 (13%) of 16 drinking water samples.

Conclusion: most HCFs lacked access to reliable supplies of safe water and had inadequate access to WASH infrastructure. We recommend public and private investment in WASH in Kamwenge District to achieve the SDG for HCFs.