WaterAid, a UK-based charity organisation, has urged the global leaders to commit to new funding of at least $1.2 billion, to ensure clean water, decent toilets and proper hand washing facilities in all hospitals and clinics.
The organisation made the urge at a discussion of G20 finance ministers held in Rome recently to discuss how they will build back from the pandemic, says a press release.
At the event, WaterAid's Chief Executive Tim Wainwright said: "We must find the money needed as a matter of urgency, to make sure all healthcare facilities in the poorest countries have clean water and soap before another pandemic hits."
"If frontline health workers cannot wash their hands, or do not have a decent toilet to go, a hospital is not a hospital at all - it's a breeding ground for disease," he added.
According to the release sent to the media on Tuesday, globally 1.8 billion people are at higher risk of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases because they use or work in a healthcare facility which lacks basic water services.
One in four healthcare facilities in the world has no clean water on site, one in three has no hand washing facilities and one in ten has no decent toilets.
In the world's poorest countries, the situation is even worse – half of all hospitals and clinics there have no clean water.
An essential injection of finance by the G20 would prevent millions of avoidable deaths through infections and diseases. Research has shown that washing hands with soap helps reduce the spread of coronaviruses by one third, the release adds.
According to the World Health Organisation, investment of this nature would take just one year to pay for itself and produce savings for every dollar invested thereafter. But an ever-growing debt crisis is preventing poorer countries from being able to invest into basic water services, with some countries paying billions of dollars in international debt service each year.