Category Archives: Sanitation and Health

Global Handwashing Day 2018 – Water Currents, October 10, 2018

Global Handwashing Day 2018 – Water Currents, October 10, 2018

Celebrate Global Handwashing Day (GHD) on October 15, 2018. Organized by the Global Handwashing Partnership, this important international advocacy day is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap (HWS). HWS is one of the most effective and affordable ways to prevent diarrhea and pneumonia––the leading causes of death for children under the age of 5. ghd2018

The theme of this year’s celebration, “Clean Hands—A Recipe for Health,” emphasizes the key role that handwashing plays in reducing the prevalence of diarrheal disease and increasing overall health. For that reason, USAID and local partners promote improved handwashing behavior—educating the public about the health benefits of regular handwashing with soap; encouraging handwashing behavior change; and improving handwashing infrastructure in schools, health facilities, businesses, and households around the world to help create healthier, more self-reliant communities.

Hygiene and handwashing behavior change are also highlighted in the 2017 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s Water and Development Plan.

This issue contains contributions from the Global Handwashing Partnership, USAID, and others, as well as the latest studies on handwashing and food hygiene.

Join the #GlobalHandwashingDay conversation @USAIDWater.

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Global Handwashing Partnership Resources
Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) website – GHP is a coalition of international stakeholders who work explicitly to promote handwashing with soap and recognize hygiene as a pillar of international development and public health. GHP has importantresources on its website for promoting GHD.

Norms, Nudges, or Addiction: Understanding Drivers for Handwashing BehaviorGHPUSAID, September 2017. In this webinar, Nga Ngyuen of USAID, Dr. Reshmaan Hussam, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Dr. Hans Mosler of the University of Zurich and EAWAG present updates on recent research and key implications of two frameworks for handwashing behavior change.

The Forgotten Juncture? Handwashing and Safe Management of Child FecesGHPUSAID; International Water Center; Water and Engineering Center for Development; UNICEF, August 2018. Safe disposal of children’s feces is a critical practice. This webinar discusses the present status and impact of child feces disposal practices and handwashing, shares experiences across regions, and reviews key considerations for practitioners.

USAID Resources
Global Handwashing Day 2018: Clean Hands—A Recipe for HealthGlobal Waters, September 2018. This collection of photos highlights USAID’s support for improved handwashing practices and how the Agency is helping create healthier communities around the world.

Read the complete issue.

New WHO Guidelines on Sanitation and Health

Guidelines on sanitation and health. WHO, October 1, 2018.

Safe sanitation is essential for health, from preventing infection to improving and maintaining mental and social well-being. who

Developed in accordance with the processes set out in the WHO Handbook for Guideline Development, these guidelines provide comprehensive advice on maximizing the health impact of sanitation interventions.

The guidelines summarize the evidence on the links between sanitation and health, provide evidence-informed recommendations, and offer guidance for international, national and local sanitation policies and programme actions.

The guidelines also articulate and support the role of health authorities in sanitation policy and programming to help ensure that health risks are identified and managed effectively.

The audience for the guidelines is national and local authorities responsible for the safety of sanitation systems and services, including policy makers, planners, implementers within and outside the health sector and those responsible for the development, implementation and monitoring of sanitation standards and regulations.

Event Invitation: Realizing the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation – 14 September 2018

WSSCC is inviting you to a session: Realizing the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: Tackling stigma and discrimination: From menstruation to access to WASH for people on the move that will take place next Friday 14 September 2018 / 13h30 – 15h00 at Palais des Nations, Room XXVII (Geneva, Switzerland).

PROGRAMME

Welcome and Opening Remarks from the co-chairs
Keynote speech: Mr. Leo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation
Remarks by: Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, WSSCC Executive Director
Presentations:
– Ms. Inga Winker, Human Rights Expert, Columbia University (NY)
– Mr. Labo Madougou, Director of Development and Extension of Sanitation Services from the Water and Sanitation Ministry of Niger
– Ms. Khadi Sonkho, MHM Trainer for West and Central Africa, Louga (Senegal)
Q/A and Moderated Discussion
Closing remarks:
Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, WSSCC Executive Director
Permanent Mission of Niger

This session is an opportunity to:

  • Reinforce evidence-based advocacy for sustainable access to WASH provisions (water, sanitation and hygiene) for all in public policies
  • Share evidence, best practice and innovations in programming and policy at the national level
  • Build a community of stakeholders committed to promoting and fostering menstrual health
  • Discuss how the agenda for menstrual health and other stigmatized topics can be advanced at the global level
  • Emphasize the impact of stigma, psycho-social stress and lack of body literacy as issues that have thus far received less attention
  • Contribute to the dissemination of the recommendations from the most recent report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitatio
  • Understand important barriers to and solutions for implementing the Human
  • Rights to Water and Sanitation for all for people on the move
  • Explore the roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders

Fore more info, read the Event Program and the Concept Note.

Snacks will be provided at 13h00 at the entrance of the room.

Please RSVP to anthony.dedouche@wsscc.org before 12 September 2018.

Ebola Species Found in Bats ahead of Any Potential Outbreak

Ebola Species Found in Bats ahead of Any Potential Outbreak. USAID Global Health, August 28, 2018.

For the first time, a discovery by the PREDICT project uncovered a new Ebola virus in animals before it spread to humans.  

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Photo credit: Jaber Belkhiria/UC Davis

The discovery of the Bombali virus in bats in Sierra Leone and the sequencing of the complete genome was published yesterday in the journal Nature Microbiology. The government of Sierra Leone announced preliminary findings in late July.

The discovery was made by scientists at the University of California Davis’ One Health Institute and Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity, working with the government of Sierra Leone and the University of Makeni and Metabiota. The work is part of the PREDICT Ebola Host project, funded by USAID.

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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.

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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The Clean Clinic Approach: Strengthening WASH in Health Care Facilities to Improve Health Outcome for Mothers and Newborns

The Clean Clinic Approach: Strengthening WASH in Health Care Facilities to Improve Health Outcome for Mothers and Newborns

Stephen Sara, the WASH Team Lead on USAID’s Flagship Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) discusses the Clean Clinic Approach, MCSP’s approach for improving WASH in health care facilities. usaid

The approach focuses on facilitating incremental, low-cost WASH improvements to support maternal and newborn health outcomes.

The webinar will review existing standards and tools, discuss the relationship between WASH and infection prevention & control (IPC) and share experiences and lessons learned from implementing the Clean Clinic Approach as part of an integrated health program.

Link to webinar.