Tag Archives: COVID-19

For COVID-19, Focus on the Basics: WASH in Healthcare Facilities

For COVID-19, Focus on the Basics: WASH in Healthcare Facilities, by Thomas Boynton and John Oldfield, Global Water 2020. Sanitation and Water for All, April 2020.

When it comes to stopping a pandemic – be it COVID-19 or infectious Disease X sometime in the future – we are only as strong as the weakest link. And there is a clear weak link that few recognize and appreciate: the lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in healthcare facilities across the developing world.

Pandemics specialize in beating efforts to control them, especially at critical sites. Perhaps no place is more critical than any given healthcare facility where there is the greatest density of pathogens and the greatest volume of sick people.

The unappreciated reality is that at a time when we are bombarded with the message to “wash your hands,” healthcare workers and patients in healthcare facilities often cannot perform that simple act. WASH is the foundation of healthcare.

However, one in four healthcare facilities lacks basic water, one in five lacks sanitation, and two in five lack hand hygiene materials at points of care. That leaves a massive “catchment area” of two billion people who must rely on these inadequate facilities for their healthcare. This situation is always deeply troubling and especially problematic during a pandemic. 

Read the complete article.

Brief: Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and menstrual health and hygiene – UNICEF

Brief: Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and menstrual health and hygiene. UNICEF, April 2020.

A summary of essential considerations to ensure continuation of MHH during the pandemic:

  1. Ensure MHH supplies and WASH facilities are in place for healthcare workers and patients.
  2. Mitigate the impact of lack of access to menstrual materials and WASH facilities by providing menstrual materials in NFI and food assistance for girls and women with limited movement or in camps or institutions.
  3. Provide basic WASH facilities and services in communities, camps, and institutional settings.

WASH & COVID-19 updates, April 2020

April 27, 2020 – WASH & COVID-19 Weekly Update

April 20, 2020 – WASH & COVID-19 Weekly Update

April 13, 2020 – WASH & COVID-19 Weekly Update

April 9, 2020 – WASH & COVID-19 UPDATES Weekly Update

April 3, 2020 – WASH & COVID-19 Weekly Update

WASH & COVID-19 Update, April 20, 2020


Did you get the message? My favorite behavior change studies can inform the COVID-19 response by Julia Rosenbaum. R&E Search for Evidence, April 2020.

Ten Immediate WASH Actions in Healthcare Facilities for COVID-19 Response. Compiled by Lindsay Denny, Global Water 2020, April 2020.

Understanding hygiene promotion in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. UNICEF guidance note, April 2020.

Hand Hygiene – Could COVID-19 Permanently Change Hand Hygiene? By: Gideon Lasco, GHP Blog, April 2020.

Hygiene behaviour during outbreaks. COVID-19 Hygiene Hub, April 2020.

Identifying & Mitigating Gender-based Violence Risks within the COVID-19 Response. Global WASH Cluster, April 2020.  

Cleaning and hygiene tips to help keep the COVID-19 virus out of your home. UNICEF, April 2020.

Three lessons for the COVID-19 response from pandemic HIV. The Lancet, April 2020.

COVID-19 Prevention When There’s No Soap and Water. JHCCP, April 2020.

Zimbabwe: Unsafe Water Raises COVID-19 Risks. Human Rights Watch, April 2020.

International task force to examine wastewater for community infection of novel coronavirus. SMW, April 2020.

Ten Immediate WASH Actions in Healthcare Facilities for COVID-19 Response

Ten Immediate WASH Actions in Healthcare Facilities for COVID-19 Response. Compiled by Lindsay Denny, Global Water 2020, April 2020.

This page describes ten immediate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) actions that low-resource healthcare facilities can undertake with limited budget in the near-term (0-3 months) to prepare for and address COVID-19.

On the second page, WHO and UNICEF have provided input on how to best adapt their Eight Practical Steps in the midst of COVID-19.

Finally, we have compiled resources for action. While some activities may be temporary stopgaps, the goal is to provide incremental improvements that can be sustained and built upon after the outbreak subsides.

In particular, the proper management of WASH will be critical to protect healthcare workers and prevent infections. WHO has stated that WASH guidelines for COVID-19 are the same as for preventing other infections.

The immediacy of the outbreak will require healthcare facilities, Ministries of Health, and partners to prioritize activities, with a focus on infection prevention and control and preparing for an influx of patients, causing greater demand on WASH services.

WASH & COVID-19 updates – April 13, 2020


Water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and waste management for the prevention of COVID-19 Updated Technical Note-2nd edition 6 April 2020. WHO; UNICEF.

New resource: messages on the COVID-19 and WASH link. Sanitation and Water for All, April 6.

Corona Comic – No Chance for Corona: How Kids Can Help Beat the Virus. Welthungerhilfe, April 2020.

USAID Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest News

Responding to COVID-19 – The Global Handwashing Partnership, April 7.

Handwashing is first line of defense in preventing Coronavirus, but millions do not have access to soap and water. WaterAid, April 10.

How do you stop COVID-19 without clean water? National Geographic, April 8.

Handwashing helps stop COVID-19. But in India, water is scarce. National Geographic, April 7.

One Way to Potentially Track Covid-19? Sewage Surveillance. Wired, April 7.

Welthungerhilfe Corona Comics about Children and Hygiene

Welthungerhilfe (GWC member) and the GWN member WASH-United (the organisation behind Menstrual Hygiene Day) developed a generic comic strip, that provides young people between the ages of 10 and 14 with information about the coronavirus and preventative hygiene measures.

It is designed for universal application and can be used all over the world. The material development was guided by an expert from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, at Charité University-Clinic Berlin. The comics can support hygiene promotion activities, nutrition education and can be distributed alongside with food distributions or through community health workers.

Link – https://www.welthungerhilfe.org/coronavirus-comic

No chance for Corona

Although children and adolescents rarely fall seriously ill with COVID-19, they are nevertheless extremely affected by the pandemic. Instead of playing outside, going to school, doing sports and meeting friends, they are now locked up with their parents all day, often in very confined spaces. In addition, they are worried about their family, their friends and themselves.

Together, Welthungerhilfe and WASH United want to ensure that children and adolescents understand why their normal lives are being so drastically restricted and what they can do to protect themselves, their family and their friends from Corona. To this end, we have worked closely with an expert from the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin to develop a comic strip that can be used around the world to educate children and adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14 about Corona.

The “No chance for Corona” comic is currently being translated into more than 25 languages. On 13 April, the comic will also be available as an educational video to reach even more children and adolescents. The comic can be used, reproduced and disseminated for non-commercial purposes without limitation. Commercial use of the comic is prohibited. Changes to the comic are not permitted. We want to encourage you to use the comic and video as widely as possible. Please share the resource through your networks and contacts.

Corona knows no boundaries and affects all people, worldwide – including children and adolescents. The better we involve children and adolescents, the faster we will overcome this pandemic together.