Project Lead(s): Alison Macintyre
Cambodian public health facilities often do not meet water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) standards.
Poor WASH in health care facilities increases the risk of healthcare associated infection (HAI) and subsequently sepsis among women, newborns, and infants.
Factors that influence the level of WASH in a facility include drinking water quality, toilet function, facility cleanliness, infection control, and waste management.
WaterAid implemented the Water and Sanitation for Health Facilities Improvement Tool (WASH FIT): a risk-management tool for healthcare teams to improve WASH within their facility. The tool was initially developed by the WHO and UNICEF.
The project aimed to improve WASH in 3 health care facilities in rural Cambodia. 20 healthcare staff and 2 supervisors were trained to use and apply the WASH FIT tool in their facility alongside specific training on infection prevention and control and, water, sanitation and hygiene.
A local partner, Teuk Saat 1001, installed 2 drinking water kiosks to supply water to each health care facility and surrounding households in 2 target communities. In the third community, an existing kiosk was linked to the health care facility.
Drinking water kiosks were run by local entrepreneurs, and water quality was tested by a local company.
The project improved WASH services in 3 rural health care facilities in Cambodia. Having local entrepreneurs run drinking water kiosks while partnering them with health care facilities proved to be a sustainable approach.
In 12-month implementing period, 19,500 clients used health care facilities with improved water, sanitation and hygiene services.
In addition to health care facility users, 8,285 community members gained access to safe drinking water due to the effectiveness of the water kiosks. Customer-use of kiosks continues to grow due to the marketing and promotion of the kiosks by management. Since the end of the project, 140 other kiosks have linked up with their local health care facility to provide safe drinking water to healthcare workers and clients.
WaterAid hopes to scale up WASH FIT nationally through the Ministry of Health’s quality of care program and incorporate their approach in Cambodia’s National Guidelines for WASH in Healthcare Facilities.