Category Archives: IYS Themes

SWaCH, the success story of waste pickers in Pune

Waste pickers: the invisible heroes of Sao Paulo

Senator Bill Frist – Make water a top global priority. It’s the best, cheapest way to save lives

Make water a top global priority. It’s the best, cheapest way to save lives: Frist. USA Today, August 15, 2018.

The best way to save lives and prevent outbreaks of threats like Ebola is water in health facilities. Congress and the world need to meet this challenge. 

frist

(Photo: Al-hadji Kudra Maliro/AP)

This summer has seen the unprecedented and simultaneous outbreak of six of eight diseases posing the greatest threats to public health, according to the World Health Organization.

You’d think that after the alarmingly fast spread of Ebola in West Africa just a few years ago, we’d have learned our lesson.

Instead, the health intervention that has saved more lives than any other in recorded history remains alarmingly absent in global health care. That poses an immediate and long-term danger to us all.

We call it WASH — water, sanitation and hygiene. It’s the most critical resource in my preparation for every surgical procedure I performed over my lifetime, and it is dismally deficient or nonexistent in hundreds of thousands of health care facilities around the world.

Read the complete article.

Emergency WASH Biweekly Update, August 15, 2018

UPDATES FROM THE GLOBAL WASH CLUSTER AND THE SUSTAINABLE SANITATION ALLIANCE (SuSanA)

The Global WASH Cluster has a new website. How to Provide Feedback on the Website. Go to the bottom of the home back and you can find the link to the feedback form right below the ‘Contract us’ heading. You can also just send us an email to globalwashcluster@gmail.com if that is easier for you.

Emergency & reconstruction situations – Working Group 8 of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance – Register as a SuSanA member to join this working group and its mailing list. The objective of this working group is to combine the knowledge from experts in the fields of sanitation with the knowledge from experts in the field of emergency response and reconstruction. Some of the resources include a Factsheet and Reading List.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND BLOG POSTS

Water Supply in a War Zone: A Preliminary Analysis of Two Urban Water Tanker Supply Systems in the Republic of Yemen. World Bank. World Bank, July 2018.
This discussion paper presents assessments of basic features of urban water supply systems in Sana’a and Aden, a detailed profile of the tanker truck service structure, including supply chain mapping, value chain analysis, and an assessment of changes to the sector since the war began. It also covers institutional support structure for the water sector, well-to-consumer supply chain, water quality, well operations, tanker trucks water delivery services, and household water demand.

A humanitarian response to the West African Ebola virus disease outbreak. Journal of International Humanitarian Action, August 2018.
The 2014–2016 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa was of unprecedented magnitude with a total of 28,616 suspected, probable, and confirmed cases reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Unique multisectoral partnerships forged between traditional public health actors and humanitarian actors facilitated mutual learning and opened the door to ongoing working relationships that will hasten efficient and effective response to future global public health emergencies.

Are there health hazards from disinfection byproducts in humanitarian water? Findings from a MSF water treatment plant, Palorinya, Uganda. A presentation by Matt Arnold, et al, Médecins Sans Frontières, May 2018.
Water was compliant with WHO standards for total THMs (TTHMs). Emergency treatment methods such as direct chlorination of surface water may present more risk of DBP formation.  The complicated nature and sheer number of identified DBPs make analysis, measurement and standard setting complex.

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UNICEF Regional WASH Innovation Challenge

We are delighted to share with you details of the Regional WASH Innovation challenge which UNICEF recently launched in partnership with BRAC and ask your support in sharing the contacts and details throughout your sectors and networks.

This year the focus is on handwashing – looking for innovative ways to get Mothers and caregivers to wash their hands with soap at critical times. washinnovation

HANDWASHING + SOAP = SAVED LIVES – If it’s simple in theory why is it so hard to practice?

This challenge is open to applicants from all countries in South Asia and there is a $5,000 prize for each of the three categories, full details and applications can be made through the following links and I have also included some specific details in the text below.

The closing date is September 10, 2018 – so please join us on facebook, twitter and Instagram and visit our website. But most importantly help us spread the word about this important challenge so that we can solve the equation and save more lives through improved handwashing.

Regional WASH Innovation Challenge

Purpose and Problems to be addressed by the Challenge – The purpose of the Regional WASH Innovation Challenge will be to identify innovative solutions to promote handwashing with soap that can be implemented to scale in the South Asia region. The promotion will focus on:

  • Improving education and awareness of handwashing with soap, identifying the benefits of using soap, understanding of proper handwashing techniques and critical times for handwashing; and
  • Behaviour change, resulting in and sustaining the increase of good practice of handwashing with soap using proper techniques and at critical times;
  • Health impact where the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections is reduced, improving children’s health and mitigating the risk of preventable child deaths.

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Sanitation and health: what do we want to know?

Experts meet to discuss reaching a consensus on what the evidence tells us.

Radu Ban

Radu Ban

Jan Willem Rosenboom

Jan Willem Rosenbom

This is the first of two blogs written about the “Sanitation and health evidence consensus meeting”, convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Seattle on May 24 and 25 of 2018. It was written by Jan Willem Rosenboom and Radu Ban, who are both Sr. Program Officers on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WSH) team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This first blog will describe the process used to arrive at the consensus, while the second blog will describe the outcome of the consensus and will come out once the results of the consensus meeting have been published. Also, mark your calendars for a session during the 2018 UNC Water and Health conference dedicated to this consensus!

Cambodia - India Two sides of sanitation rubbish and cleanliness. Credit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Two sides of sanitation: rubbish and cleanliness. Credit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cambodia/India

Introduction: What is this about?

It is hard to imagine that making improvements in sanitation wouldn’t play a role in improving health. After all, we know that shit spreads disease and the F diagram shows us that sanitation is an important tool in blocking the transmission of pathogens from one person to the next, thus lowering exposure. And sure enough: we have strong evidence about the effectiveness of sanitation interventions and improving health and human capital outcomes from rigorous historical studies, from high- as well as low- and middle-income countries.

At the same time, looking at the specific impact of programmatic sanitation interventions, it can be hard to figure out what the evidence is really telling us. On the one hand, a systematic review of the whole body of evidence on sanitation and health (carried out by Freeman et al. in 2017) suggests that sanitation protects against diarrhoea, active trachoma, some soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and schistosomiasis. It also improves height-for-age scores of children (i.e. it decreases stunting, which is an important measure of human capacity). On the other hand, several recent sanitation intervention studies have found limited or no impact on different health outcomes. The table below (copied with permission from a presentation by Tom Clasen), provides a summary of key findings from the most recent sanitation studies:

Sanitation blog - Summary of effects from recent sanitation studies

  1. Fewer observed flies and feces; no change in fecal contamination of water
  2. Fewer observed soiled hands and less fecal contamination of water
  3. Except in the study arm considering just water quality improvements

This seeming lack of agreement is confusing, and partly in response to questions from practitioners, on May 24 and 25 of this year WHO convened a meeting of experts to review the existing evidence and reach a consensus about what it is telling us. The group of experts consisted of researchers across multiple disciplines who had written extensively on the topic of sanitation and health. We thought it was necessary to reach consensus among researchers before engaging, in a unified voice, the practitioner community.

At the same time, to make sure that the concerns of practitioners would be considered in the meeting, we published a “request for input” online (through the SuSanA network as well as the Sanitation Updates blog) and we will summarise the responses here. But first…

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Emergency WASH Biweekly Update – July 30, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

The Emergency WASH Google Group will be sharing information with the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance’s Working Group on Emergency & Reconstruction Situations so please check out the Working Group:

FEATURED RESOURCE

Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) Working Group 8 – Emergency & reconstruction situations – The objective of this working group is to combine the knowledge from experts in the fields of sanitation with the knowledge from experts in the field of emergency response and reconstruction.

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Exploring menstrual practices and potential acceptability of reusable menstrual underwear among a Middle Eastern population living in a refugee setting. International Journal of Women’s Health, July 2018.
Menstrual hygiene beliefs, behaviors, and practices are mostly consistent with existing literature. An acceptance of the concept of reusable menstrual underwear was expressed, although the perceived benefits of this product did not outweigh customary practices. The use of menstrual underwear as a complimentary product to traditional absorbents was expressed as helpful for promoting dignity.

REPORTS

UNHCR Public Health 2017 Annual Global Overview. UNHCR, July 2018.
The average litres per person per day globally was at 21 litres. Where possible, high yield boreholes coupled with solar energy have been used to provide water to refugees through chlorinated gravity fed distribution systems. An average latrine ratio of 22 persons per latrine was achieved globally, which is just below standard and represents an improvement from 2016.

Management of radioactivity in drinking-water. WHO, 2018.
Management of radioactivity in drinking-water responds to Member States requests for additional guidance to support radionuclide management in drinking-water in emergency and non-emergency situations.

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