Water, sanitation and hygiene, collectively known as WASH, is an enabler of infection prevention and control (IPC), both of which contribute to safe, quality health care and the prevention of spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This discussion paper considers the importance placed on the role of hygiene, including cleaning and those who clean, in health care facilities, within the context of existing data, guidelines and initiatives . Informed by this, the paper presents five areas for consideration that have the potential to strengthen and further demonstrate the value of this important cadre of staff and their role in clean, safe healthcare, particularly in low- and middle-income countries . The considerations centre around actions to overcome the current data gaps, including the paucity of national data on environmental cleaning and the training of cleaners; strengthening the implementation of norms and standards; combining global and national advocacy efforts; revisiting investment; and addressing research gaps on the issue . The need to act, in line with WHO and UNICEF recommendations to address this overlooked and undercompensated workforce and to elevate their status as important contributors to IPC, WASH and AMR is a pressing one.
Index: Antimicrobial resistance, COVID-19, Cleaners, Environmental cleaning, Environmental hygiene, Hygiene, Infection prevention, Sanitation, Water