WaterAid advocates for better integration of water, sanitation in Kigali summit

WaterAid, under the Pan Africa Programme, has launched the Hygiene for Health campaign during the Rwanda Global Healthcare Summit in Kigali.

The overall goal of the campaign is to accelerate action and progress towards everyone’s access to Hygiene services by catalysing changes in the attitudes, policies and practices of country and donor governments, global institutions, and the private sector on hand hygiene and WASH in healthcare facilities as key enablers for improved health outcomes.

The campaign will drive progress towards increased and sustained prioritisation of, and investment in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for public health and resilience through the narrative framing of ‘hygiene for health’.

The campaign focused on WASH in health care facilities and hand hygiene for all in all settings.

Hygiene is protection, for communities, health workers and patients. Without it, we cannot defeat Covid-19 or future health crises, water aid said at the summit.

The summit's theme was “Water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities and pandemic preparedness and response”.

On the sidelines, WaterAid hosted an exhibition that demonstrated how water should be integrated into healthcare and hygiene services.

Olutayo Bankole-Bolawole, WaterAid East Africa regional director, said Water Aid welcomed the fact that water, sanitation and hygiene are clearly recognised as central to the main issues during the agenda.

“At the Global Healthcare Summit, WaterAid will share experiences in integrating WASH in health care facilities, generate discussions on inclusive pandemic response with partners and launch the Hygiene for Health Campaign,” Bankole-Bolawole said

WaterAid also advocated for better integration of water, sanitation, and hygiene into the health sector in numerous sessions covering universal health care, integrating digital technologies in the health sector as well as reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health.

The Global Healthcare Summit held between November 18-20 was a hybrid event hosted by the Rwandan Ministry of Health and facilitated by Be Still Investments

At least 500 delegates consisting of Health ministers, representatives of African governments, development partners, including donors and other international agencies, high-profile health experts and hospitals decision-makers, health procurement managers, pharmaceutical and biomedical engineers attended the summit.

The meeting also sought to raise awareness of pandemic preparedness.   

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