15th National Sanitation week was marked by organizing different programmes at local as well as in national level. National Sanitation Coordination Committee in coordination with WaterAid organized the closing ceremony of a week long campaign along with an interaction programme on WASH in Health. Dr. Bhim Acharya, Director, Management Division, Department of Health Service presented a paper on "Status of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and practices in health care facilities in Nepal".
According to Dr. Acharya, 84% health care facilities have water supply however, 83% health care facilities do not have waste water management system. Likewise, 38% health care facilities do not have hand-washing facilities. Available hand washing facilities are only for in-patients and health workers. He also stated, "10% of total investment allocated for physical infrastructure are invested on WASH facilities at health care".
He also informed that MoHP is going to establish a dedicated environmental health unit within Department of Health Service. Though coordination between WASH and Health agencies are seen as challenge, he committed to raise this issue at NHSP II revision process and urge lead agencies to proactively act to improve it.
Out of 234 hospitals of the country 95 are under MoHP, 3 under MoE as teaching hospitals, others are under private, missions and NGO management. Similarly, total health post in Nepal– is 1,700 and sub health post are 2,102 in number.
While welcoming the participants, Ashutosh Tiwari, Country Representative of WaterAid, said, "Water, sanitation and hygiene services are the fundamental requirements of public health facilities. He urged representatives of GoN of health sector to include WASH components with high importance in health policies, especially in Nepal Health Sector Programmes (NHSP) III which is under revision at the moment, and this is the right time to do so".
Various programmes of 15th National Sanitation Week were also shared at the programme by the National Sanitation Coordination Committee.