Fully functioning WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) services are a crucial aspect of Health Care Facilities (HCFs) in preventing infections and ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths to achieve SDGs.
ITN-BUET, in collaboration with UNICEF Bangladesh, has taken an initiative to conduct the assessment and improve the WASH and Waste Management in 16 Healthcare Facilities (HCFs) across six districts in Bangladesh. This initiative utilizes the WASH FIT (Water and Sanitation for Health Facility Improvement Tool), a comprehensive tool focused on improving quality in healthcare settings. It addresses critical areas such as water access, sanitation, hand hygiene, environmental cleanliness, healthcare waste management, and specific elements of energy efficiency, building maintenance, and facility management.
The initiative aims to create and educate dedicated WASH FIT teams for each facility, assess the facilities, conduct risk assessments to identify and prioritize areas for improvement, and develop improvement plans. Additionally, ongoing monitoring, assessment, and refinement of activities will be implemented to ensure continual progress and improved outcomes.
As a component of the initiative, ITN-BUET has successfully conducted two workshops titled ‘WASH in Health Care Facility and WASH FIT’ in November 2023 across Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Sherpur, and Sunamganj districts. Doctors, public health engineers, healthcare workers, managers, nurses, sanitary inspectors, local government representatives, and civil surgeons participated in the workshops.
Dr. Sheikh Sufian Rustom, the Civil Surgeon of Satkhira, shared, “I appreciate the WASH FIT assessment to select HCF.” He urged participants to offer their support to the WASH FIT team for a successful implementation.
Dr. SM Mahmudur Rashid, the Civil Surgeon of Chapainawabganj, shared that while he has previous experience with WASH-related interventions, WASH FIT is a new concept for him. He expressed, “I believe WASH FIT would be an ideal tool for effectively managing HCFs.”
The workshops equipped participants with hands-on guidance and tools to adopt WASH FIT through a step-by-step approach. The sessions fostered interaction through open discussions, case studies, and collaborative group activities centered on forming WASH FIT teams. Each Health Care Facility involved in the project will establish a dedicated WASH FIT team to implement and monitor WASH FIT initiatives
Workshop participants expressed gratitude for the sessions and their dedication to implementing WASH FIT within their facilities. Medical Officer of the Chapainawabganj Civil Surgeon’s Office, Dr. Shahnaj Khatun, said, “The civil surgeon’s office previously tried to implement various WASH activities in hospitals that lacked organization. I see the WASH FIT as a promising solution that could address the issue and bring coherence to these initiatives.” ITN-BUET will conduct such workshops in Bhola and Cumilla districts by the end of December 2023.