This study aimed to investigate availability of WASH policies, standards, and services for childbirth and newborn care in hospitals in East Asia and the Pacific. Descriptive analysis of survey data and observations of water, sanitation and hygiene services in maternity and neonatal care rooms and of deliveries in 153 hospitals in Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Viet Nam. The main outcome measures were availability of national policies and standards; availability of water, sanitation, and hygiene services in maternity rooms and neonatal care units; and practice of hygiene at childbirth.
Infections acquired during labour and delivery are a significant cause of maternal and child morbidity and mortality. Adherence to hand hygiene protocols is a critical component of infection prevention strategies, but few studies have closely examined the hand hygiene of health care providers with sufficient detail to understand infection risks and prioritize prevention strategies. : This observational study was conducted in six healthcare facilities in Nigeria. In each, five women were observed from the onset of labour through to delivery of the
placenta. Hand hygiene infection risk was estimated for all procedures requiring aseptic technique compared against adherence to proper hand hygiene protocol and potential recontamination events.
This study highlights that hand hygiene remains a barrier to delivering high-quality and safe care in health facilities. Improving hygiene practices during labour and delivery will require strategies that extend beyond infrastructure provision.
Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely – more than one in ten of all babies around the world. Nearly all these deaths can be prevented by providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This flyer highlights the importance of basic Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in ensuring the right place for quality service delivery to save newborn lives.
”Every birth should be supported by a safe pair of hands, washed with soap and water, using sterile equipment, in a clean environment“……by Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director
As the proportion of deliveries in health institutions increases in LMICs, so do the challenges of maintaining standards of hygiene and preventing healthcare-associated infections in mothers and babies. A needs assessment was conducted in seven maternity units in Gujarat, India, and eight in Dhaka Division, Bangladesh in 2014.