WaSH in healthcare facilities workshop

Provincial Health Authority representatives provide input into Drafted National WaSH in Healthcare Facilities Standards & Guidelines during a three-day workshop held in Mt. Hagen, Western Highlands recently.

“Improving access to clean water supply and decent toilets in healthcare facilities will lead to low morbidity and mortality in healthcare facilities,” said WHPHA CEO, Paulus Ripa. 

He was addressing the National Validation Workshop for WaSH in Healthcare Facilities (HCFs) in Mt Hagen, recently.

“If we had good water supply, we wouldn’t see half of the number of people presenting with sicknesses at the healthcare facilities,” said Dr. Ripa.

He said this when welcoming representatives from 18 provincial health authorities and other health representatives from the government and civil society to the three-day workshop.

PHA representatives review and provide input into and validate a draft national standards and guidelines for WaSH in HCFs and roadmap for their rollout as well as a preceding situational analysis which once endorsed, is expected to contribute to improved inclusive and resilient WaSH in health care facilities, across the country.

Three main documents validated were developed through the Technical Working Group for WASH in Health Care Facilities, that is co-chaired by the National Department of Health (NDoH) and the National Planning with support from WaterAid PNG through the Water for Women PNG Consortium under the PNG-Australia Partnership and co-funded by the World Health Organization.

NDoH Acting Manager for Environmental Health, Rose Kavanamur in her closing remarks expressed gratitude for partners’ support in ensuring the workshop eventuated.

 “On behalf of the department, we are actually implementing one of the key activities and I would like to thank and appreciate WaterAid for supporting us in ensuring one of our key priorities is achieved,” said Kavanamur.

The other guest speaker, Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (PM NEC) Director for Health, Roselyn Melua also thanked development partners and said government needed to take lead in implementing its priorities.

She encouraged participants to reach out to their provincial authorities as a way forward because the ‘largest chunk’ of funds for 2023 budget was allocated towards health and infrastructure development in the provinces.

Ms Melua also highlighted corruption as a common issue that is affecting proper use of funds for their correct purposes (like WaSH) and urged that it is everyone’s responsibility to fight corruption, whatever position they are in.

Participants said although they were implementing WASH in their various health facilities, they faced funding constrains, staff shortage, lack of monitoring and reporting mechanisms, aging HCF infrastructure and lack of data for WASH and guidelines to support their work.

Meanwhile, participants have been encouraged to form WASH committees at provincial and district level, increase partnerships, increase human resource, increase funding, increase monitoring and reporting and strengthen existing PHA system to cater for WASH while awaiting endorsement and approval of the guidelines.

More than 85,000 people who visit the 4,500 plus healthcare facilities in the country are expected to benefit from WASH improvements as a result of the validation and approval of the three documents.

Loop Author