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On their recent visit to Myanmar, Dr Liz Goodburn and Professor Wendy Graham attended the WASH in Healthcare Facilities (HCFs) Symposium which was supported by WaterAid and formed part of the 47th Myanmar Health Research Congress and organised by the Myanmar MoHS Department of Medical Research (DMR).  

Prof Graham’s presentation, ‘The Perfect Storm; the urgency of improving WASH & IPC in HCFs’ focussed on the rising proportion of institutional deliveries and the pressing need for effective infection protection control (IPC) to prevent avoidable deaths of mothers and newborns from healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Dr Goodburn also presented at the symposium and discussed all the elements of Soapbox’s TEACH CLEAN Package.

Other key presenters included Alison Macintyre, WaterAid Australia’s Technical Lead for Health, which included a comprehensive summary of Global Progress, Action and Solutions for WASH in HCFs and Dr Thae Muang Maung, Myanmar DMR, who presented the findings of the WASH in HCFs Needs Assessment which had taken place in 2017 led by MoHS DMR in partnership with Soapbox, WaterAid and UNICEF. 

There were also extremely interesting presentations from the MoHS on Healthcare Waste Management and IPC as well as from UNICEF and WaterAid on Global Progress and Development of the Sustainable Development Goals indicators for WASH in HCFs. The congress day was rounded off by a sociable dinner at a hotel near the beautiful Kandawgyi Lake followed by attendees displaying their karaoke singing and dancing skills!