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Small-scale healthcare facilities play a vital role in public health and are a key part of integrated community development. The staff at rural health posts (including immunization and reproductive health posts), mobile and emergency healthcare programs, urban clinics and small hospitals are not only tasked with treating the sick. They are also responsible for disease prevention, and health communication and education and serve as the front line of defense against epidemics such as AIDS, malaria, and cholera. Health service professionals at these facilities provide family planning, nurture child and adult health, prevent disease, cure debilitating illnesses, and alleviate the suffering of the dying.

However, environmentally poor design and management of these facilities can adversely affect patient and community health countering the very benefits they are intended to deliver. This Small Healthcare Facilities Sector Environmental Guideline describe the mechanisms by which environmental and health risks arise and recommends mitigation and monitoring measures to reduce them and otherwise strengthen project outcomes. It also includes a number of checklists for environmentally sound design and management (ESDM) of small health facilities.