The overall aim of the task team is to develop a suite of field-tested tools, training and reference materials for a variety of facilities and settings. The task team will support sustainable improvements to WASH infrastructure, practices and management within health care facilities and ensure that such improvements are based on WHO or national standards and supported by broader health systems and quality of care initiatives.

Key activities of the group will be to support regular training and competency assessments for all health care facility staff, including cleaners and health care workers.

The establishment and enforcement of national policies and standards for WASH in health care facilities provides an important foundation for improving services. The WHO document Essential Environmental Health Standards in Health Care describes essential environmental health standards for health care in low-resource settings and provides the basis for improving WASH services (WHO, 2008) and also describes methods for supporting the development and implementation of national government policies. The standards cover: water quality, water quantity, water facilities and access to water, excreta disposal, wastewater treatment and disposal, health-care waste disposal as well as other environmental issues, including protection from disease vectors.

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