WHO, SNU and VIHEMA collaborate to improve WASH in Ly Nhan district hospital, Ha Nam province
HA NAM, 30 August 2019 – In support to the Ministry of Health’s commitment to enhance water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and healthcare waste management services, the World Health Organization Representative Office in Viet Nam (WHO Viet Nam) and Seoul National University (SNU), Republic of Korea, collaborated with the Viet Nam Health Environment Management Agency (VIHEMA) in building a system for rain water harvesting and treatment for drinking in healthcare facilities. A pilot implementation of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene–Facility Improvement Tool (WASH-FIT) under a WHO Viet Nam–SNU partnership agreement, the new WASH facility built in Ly Nhan district hospital was officially handed over by WHO Viet Nam and SNU to the Ministry of Health during an inauguration ceremony in Ha Nam on 30 August 2019.
Representatives from Ly Nhan District Hospital, VIHEMA, SNU and WHO Viet Nam in the handover ceremony – Photo: WHO
Dr Nguyen Thi Lien Huong, Director General of VIHEMA expressed appreciation for WHO Viet Nam and SNU’s collaboration with the government in moving this project forward as she said, “Having effective WASH facilities in place is fundamental in advancing quality healthcare work, and as such, remains a priority area for the Ministry of Health. The introduction of WASH-FIT in healthcare facilities in the country will greatly contribute in our efforts to achieve the targets set in this area of work.”
With WASH-FIT, healthcare facilities will have an effective tool to improve water, sanitation and hygiene practice for basic medical services provided to healthcare workers and patients. The Plan for Implementing Green, Clean and Beautiful Health care Facilities guides Viet Nam’s implementation of activities improving healthcare facilities, and WASH-FIT is a vital tool in meeting the requirements set by the said action plan.
“Continuously improving systems for water, sanitation and hygiene is important in all settings, particularly in health care facilities. Lack of effective WASH facilities negatively impacts quality care and efforts to strengthen infection prevention and control. Increased investment is critical to ensure that the targets set in this area are met, and we are happy to welcome the support of institutions like SNU, as we join the Government of Viet Nam in paving the way towards enhancing WASH systems in healthcare facilities in the country,” said Dr Kidong Park, WHO Representative in Viet Nam.
“We have been building systems for rain water for drinking in several places in Viet Nam – in schools and communities – but this is the first time we have supported the programme’s implementation in a healthcare setting. As we turn this facility over to the Ministry of Health, we cannot wait to see how this will be replicated or even improved in other healthcare facilities in the country. SNU is proud to be a partner to both the Ministry of Health and WHO Viet Nam in this initiative, and we look forward to more collaboration in the future” Professor Mooyoung Han, Director, Sustainable Water Management Centre, SNU, remarked.
According to WASH in healthcare facilities: Global baseline report 2019, as of 2016, only 51% of healthcare facilities in Viet Nam had used an improved water source on premises.