More than 900,000 newborns die each year from causes linked to poor hygienic conditions in hospitals and medical centers where they are born, according to reports published jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund. (Unicef).
One of the documents indicates that nearly one million newborns or their mothers die after childbirth, although WHO coordinator Bruce Gordon said at a press conference, more than 90 percent of the deaths in these cases are children .
The reports that study the conditions of health centers around the world indicate that one in four medical facilities do not have running water or suffer limited access to it, affecting the care of 2 billion people.
One in five centers studied lacks adequate bathrooms, which affects 1.5 billion people, and 16 percent (one in six) does not have basic services so that doctors and patients can wash their hands.
The indicators analyzed are crucial to prevent infections and offer quality medical care, especially in childbirth, given that an estimated 17 million women in less developed countries give birth each year in facilities without hygienic and sanitary conditions adequate.
Every day about 7,000 newborns die, and infections are the cause of 26 percent of those deaths, as well as 11 percent of deaths of mothers in childbirth, according to the data released.
"Every birth should be in safe hands, washed with soap and water, using sterile equipment and in a clean environment," Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore said in a statement.
The Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that "ensuring that all health centers have basic water, bath and hygiene services is essential to achieve a healthier, safer and more just world".
Although they do not give exhaustive figures for each country, the reports show that in Peru only 46 percent of the health centers have basic access to water, while in Paraguay only 44 percent have bathrooms connected to sewage systems.