Dr Hilary Jones, one of the UK’s best-known doctors, is joining forces with the charity WaterAid as he features in a new thought-provoking film for WaterAid’s social media channels.
The short snappy film highlights how more than one in three hospitals and clinics in the world’s poorest places does not have clean water, and almost one in five do not have decent toilets. As a result, diseases can spread easily.
Dr Hilary Jones – GP, medical broadcaster and author – features as one of three medics at work, alongside Florence Anyoka, a midwife at Busongo Community Health Centre in Ghana, and Dr Martin Konè from Talo health centre in Mali.
Dr Hilary and Florence represent the two out of three medics who work in a health centre with clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene and are therefore able to do their jobs in a hygienic way, giving their patients the best chance of a healthy life.
However, Dr Martin is one of the millions of medical staff who have to work in hospitals without any clean water and often no sanitation. He has to collect water on his way to work or rely on water brought in by the relatives of his patients, which is likely to be contaminated.
The ‘Water Effect’ appeal struck a chord with Dr Hilary, who’s worked in many different countries around the world in challenging conditions.
Dr Hilary Jones said:
“It’s hard to imagine trying to keep patients safe from infection and preventable diseases when working in a health centre with no clean water or decent toilets, yet this is the reality for millions of doctors around the world. Whether it’s a mother-to-be or someone at the end of their life, their treatment should not be compromised because of a lack of clean water.
“Every year, half a million babies die from infection before they are even just one month old, due to a lack of clean water and safe sanitation in hospitals. For one in five of those babies, simply being washed in clean water and cared for in a hygienic environment by people who had washed their hands with soap and water, could have saved their lives.
“Clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene are vital for health. That’s why I’m supporting WaterAid’s work to get these basic essentials to healthcare facilities across the world.”
Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive for WaterAid, said:
“We are delighted that Dr Hilary Jones is working with us to highlight the importance of improving water, sanitation and hygiene provision in health centres around the world. His expertise and relatable style help us communicate our aims more widely, ultimately helping us to reach more communities and health centres with lifesaving water and sanitation facilities.
“We’re putting clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene at the heart of healthcare, helping transform thousands of lives by creating a powerful ripple. Mothers can give birth more safely; healthy children can go to school and fulfil their potential, and parents can work to support themselves and their families. That’s the water effect.”
Dr Hilary is supporting WaterAid’s Water Effect appeal. To find out more visit www.wateraid.org.