Promoting Health Through WASH

Shanghai, China -- When governments and health organizations met last week in Shanghai for the World Health Organization’s 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion, Health Care Without Harm Asia urged health leaders to address the situation of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in health care facilities in the region. 

Speaking at the health literacy forum on WASH, HCWH Asia Director Ramon San Pascual emphasized the importance of sustainable waste management in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). San Pascual noted how  SDG 6 (access to water and sanitation for all) will help attain SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing), in relation to  making WASH relevant to health care facilities towards protecting the wellbeing of both patients and health workers.

“The WHO has pointed out that globally, safe health care waste management is lacking. Improperly treated medical waste poses serious threats on health workers and the public health,” said San Pascual. “Setting up adequate WASH facilities has multiple benefits: from promoting the health of workers and patients and preventing the outbreak of diseases, to preparing health facilities to respond in times of disasters and climate-related events.”

HCWH Asia Director Ramon San Pascual discusses the relevance of WASH in the SDGs

“Waste management should be considered a crucial input in achieving health goals if we are placing health at the core of advancing the sustainable development goals. We should incorporate waste management in all water sanitation and health programs especially within our health facilities.” 

HCWH’s Global Green and Healthy Hospitals -- which has 107 members in Asia composed of hospitals and health facilities, health systems, and health organizations -- works with members to assist them in implementing environmentally sustainable projects, including sustainable health care waste management. These members, of whom are working on Waste and Water as part of their sustainability programs, have documented these projects in Case Studies. To read Case Studies on Waste, Water, and other GGHH Goals, click here

The 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion was themed “Promoting health, promoting sustainable development: Health for all, and all for health.”