Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) installations are indispensable in health care facilities. Their quality might also influence the decision whether to visit a health facility. We investigated the WASH infrastructure in small health facilities in rural Pune, India, and surveyed expectations and satisfactoriness among women. The availability and quality of WASH installations was assessed in 12 facilities using a checklist. Dedicated questions in a household survey provided the community perspective, complemented by qualitative methods. A few public facilities had no latrine or hand washing station. On the contrary, all private facilities offered such installations. The bed/outpatient-to-installation ratio was also lower in private compared to public facilities. While most latrines were functional and well maintained, they often lacked garbage bins. Soap was often missing from hand washing stations. Dedicated latrines for women were rare. Women were generally satisfied with the WASH installations in the local health facility, but considered private facilities as better. WASH installations in health facilities are generally acceptable in private facilities while improvements are needed in some government facilities. Women expect WASH installations in health facilities, and view their quality in a broader framework of ‘cleanliness,’ which they consider when choosing facilities.
Steinmann, P.; Bratschi, M.W.; Lele, P.; Chavan, U.; Sundaram, N.; Weiss, M.G.; Juvekar, S.; Hirve, S. Availability and satisfactoriness of latrines and hand washing stations in health facilities, and role in health seeking behavior of women: evidence from rural Pune district, India. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development (2015) 5 (3) 474. [DOI: 10.2166/washdev.2015.101]