Development of Health Care Facilities in Rural Areas of District Bagh, Azad Jammu, and Kashmir: A study of the application of the WASH-FIT tool
Keywords:WASH-FIT, Water, Sanitation, Hygeine, Primary Healthcare Centers
Background: In order to maintain health of the communities; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices are important as they help prevent new infections from occurring. Water supply and hygiene are unsatisfactory in Pakistan's Primary Healthcare Centers. Interventions must be introduced to improve the conditions in water, sanitation, healthcare waste, and hand hygiene.
Objective: To assess the outcomes of the WASH-FIT process at randomly selected Rural Health Centres in district Bagh, Azad Kashmir.
Methodology: Three Rural Health Centers in District Bagh, Azad Jammu, and Kashmir including; Malot, Rehra, and RHC Birpani, with a sample size of 32, were examined in this quasi-experimental study, from March to May 2020. The WASH practices of the aforementioned RHCs were assessed using WASH-FIT. Shortcomings were identified initially, and later an assessment was done after the intervention had been implemented. The intervention measures included a range of actions including; the use of chlorine tablets, giving water coolers, hand rubs, dustbins with lids, maintenance of the hospital register, use of gloves, masks along with health education sessions. SPSS version 24 was used for the analysis.
Results: Without intervention, in these RHCs only 0 to 50% of the WHO criteria for water, sanitation, healthcare waste, and of hand hygiene. Water, sanitation, healthcare waste, and hand hygiene outcome were significantly raised by 25-100% (p value<0.05) following intervention in certain indicators. Hence with the intervention introduced, the performance of all the indicators was improved to up to 100%.
Conclusion: WASH-FIT tool has significantly improved the healthcare facilities in terms of water, sanitation, hygiene, and hospital waste in selected RHCs in this study, which plays a critical role in the prevention of infections.