WASH a much neglected area in the Indian development planning, in spite of huge budgets of subsequent governments in water and sanitation. The Swachhta Guidelines for Public Health Facilities developed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2015 named Kayakalp has helped ink down with defined indicators the suitable standards in Public health institutions, with reference to sanitation and hygiene.
The Centre has been involved in a study in three high priority districts, Koraput, Malkangiri and Kandhamal in Odisha and covering the population of public delivery points in these districts, to examine the specified indicators laid down by national and international agencies as WASH standards.
A questionnaire developed with structured and semi-structured questions along with checklist for observation and inputs for focus group discussion among mothers staying at post-natal ward was administered to collect information on the WASH status in public delivery points of the aforementioned district. The three districts scored as follows:
All the facilities were assessed on the following variables:
- Pest and Animal Control
- Water supply/Source/Tank (Maintenance and all)
- Water distribution system (leaks, drainage line, proximity of septic tank)
- Water conservation
- Drinking water (location)
- Water quality
- Toilet facilities (location)
- Hand hygiene
- General cleanliness
- Standard equipment of cleaning
- Drainage and sewage management
- Infection control
- Decontamination of Instruments
- Bio Medical Waste – Collection/Storage/Disposal
- Sharp Management
- Post Exposure Prophylaxis.
- Kitchen Management
- Linen Management
We found numerous cases in the course of our study where women were greatly constrained as they came to labour and the facility did not provide toilet facilities or provisions for safe drinking water. Improvement in the WASH conditions can help establish trust in health services and encourage mothers to seek prenatal care and deliver in facilities rather than at home - important elements of the strategy to reduce maternal mortality (Russo et al., 2012).
4 students of MBA (RM), KSRM, Dinesh Giri & Batakrushna Khadanga of 2nd Year , Manthena Avisek Verma & Tushar Bhaskar of 2nd year, were interns in the center for the WASH project. They were involved in data collection, data analysis and tabulation for the three high priority districts of Odisha, namely, Kandhamal, Malkangiri and Koraput. Their association with the centre was valuable for the project.