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Water, sanitation and hygiene in Jordan’s healthcare facilities

Yousef Saleh Khader (Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 14 August 2017



The purpose of this paper is to determine water availability, sanitation and hygiene (WSH) services, and healthcare waste management in Jordan healthcare facilities.


In total, 19 hospitals (15 public and four private) were selected. The WSH services were assessed in hospitals using the WSH in health facilities assessment tool developed for this purpose.


All hospitals (100 percent) had a safe water source and most (84.2 percent) had functional water sources to provide enough water for users’ needs. All hospitals had appropriate and sufficient gender separated toilets in the wards and 84.2 percent had the same in outpatient settings. Overall, 84.2 percent had sufficient and functioning handwashing basins with soap and water, and 79.0 percent had sufficient showers. Healthcare waste management was appropriately practiced in all hospitals.

Practical implications

Jordan hospital managers achieved major achievements providing access to drinking water and improved sanitation. However, there are still areas that need improvements, such as providing toilets for patients with special needs, establishing handwashing basins with water and soap near toilets, toilet maintenance and providing sufficient trolleys for collecting hazardous waste. Efforts are needed to integrate WSH service policies with existing national policies on environmental health in health facilities, establish national standards and targets for the various healthcare facilities to increase access and improve services.


There are limited WSH data on healthcare facilities and targets for basic coverage in healthcare facilities are also lacking. A new assessment tool was developed to generate core WSH indicators and to assess WSH services in Jordan’s healthcare facilities. This tool can be used by a non-WSH specialist to quickly assess healthcare facility-related WSH services and sanitary hazards in other countries. This tool identified some areas that need improvements.



The study was funded by the Centre for Environmental Health Activities, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, WHO. The funding body has no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, data interpretation and in report writing.


Khader, Y.S. (2017), "Water, sanitation and hygiene in Jordan’s healthcare facilities", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 30 No. 7, pp. 645-655.



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