Tag Archives: handwashing

To fight the coronavirus, wash your hands and support clean water access around the world

To fight the coronavirus, wash your hands and support clean water access around the world. by Susan Barnett, USA Today, March 4, 2020.

We can’t build a wall around a germ. But we can wash our hands, and our government can help countries trying to improve their health facilities.

Never has my odd obsession with the lack of access to safe water, toilets and soap around the world become more relevant to the headlines.

Because nowhere is the absence of WASH (water/sanitation/hygiene) more abominable than in hundreds of thousands of health care facilities where infections are supposed to go to die.

With all this hand-wringing about the new coronavirus, two things need to happen.

First, this virus has no cure, no vaccine, no treatment other than resting, hydrating, cough medicine and pain relief. You get sick, you feel crummy. You wait it out and try not to get anyone else sick. But the better option is to not get sick in the first place.

There are only two ways to be on the offensive: Avoid sick people, which makes a big presumption that they and you know they’re sick, and — the single most important thing you can do — wash your hands.

Read the complete article.

New SHARE research on handwashing, food hygiene, position paper on the WASH Benefits and SHINE studies

Wash’Em – How to design handwashing facilities that change behaviour

How to design handwashing facilities that change behaviour. WASH’Em, August 2019.

In a crisis, humanitarians are often responsible for providing or repairing handwashing infrastructure for the affected population. This creates an opportunity for us to build infrastructure and provide products which encourage people to practice handwashing with soap. washem-logo

Why are handwashing facilities important?
Did you know that having a handwashing facility makes you 50% more likely to wash your hands? If it is conveniently placed near the toilet or kitchen and has soap and water available, then people are up to 80% more likely to practice handwashing.

There are several reasons why handwashing facilities can have an important effect on behaviour. Imagine you are leaving the toilet. If you see a handwashing facility, this is likely to act as a trigger, reminding you to wash your hands. If you don’t see a handwashing facility you might get distracted with other things and forget to wash hands.

Even if you did want to wash your hands where there was no handwashing facility present, you would probably have to go to a lot more effort to walk to somewhere that has soap and water. In the process you may touch and contaminate lots of other
surfaces.

Often the level of effort required would act as a barrier to regular handwashing.
As humanitarians it is unethical and a waste of resources to do hygiene promotion if handwashing facilities, soap and water are not readily available to the population. In the acute phase of a crisis, handwashing infrastructure and products must be our first priority.

Water Currents: Handwashing Research, January – June 2019

Water Currents: Handwashing Research, January – June 2019

The January to June 2019 Handwashing Research Index is the result of a collaboration between the Global Handwashing Partnership and the USAID Water Communications and Knowledge Management Project. hw

The index includes 36 peer-reviewed studies from 2019 that explore handwashing in connection with diverse programmatic areas. It also includes several studies from 2018 that were not included in the 2018 Index due to publication timelines.

This issue of Water Currents features selected studies from the index, as well as links to handwashing-related websites.


Overviews
Progress on Household Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 2000–2017: Special Focus on InequalitiesWHOUNICEF, June 2019. In 2017, 22 percent of the global population (1.6 billion people) had handwashing facilities that lacked water or soap, and 18 percent (1.4 billion people) had no handwashing facility at all.

Handwashing with Soap after Potential Faecal Contact: Global, Regional and Country Estimates for Handwashing with Soap after Potential Faecal ContactInternational Journal of Epidemiology, December 2018. Researchers found that many people lack a designated handwashing facility, but even among those with access, handwashing with soap is poorly practiced. People with access to designated handwashing facilities are about twice as likely to wash their hands with soap after potential fecal contact as people who lack a facility.

Community Settings
Child Defecation and Feces Disposal Practices and Determinants among Households after a Combined Household-Level Piped Water and Sanitation Intervention in Rural Odisha, IndiaAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, April 2019. A study in rural India found that disposal of child feces into a latrine was uncommon, even among households with access to an improved pour-flush latrine that was used by adults in the household.

Read the complete article.

2018 Handwashing Research Index – Global Handwashing Partnership

2018 Handwashing Research Index. Global Handwashing Partnership, March 2019.

A core goal of our research summaries is to increase the research focus on handwashing. In 2018, we found 155 studies which explore handwashing in connection with diverse programmatic areas in global health and development, varying from urban design to maternal and child health. These entries were selected from peer-reviewed literature published in 2018. ghp

The 2018 Handwashing Research Index has been filtered by tags, to aid navigation. Users may also choose to navigate using Date of Publication, Country Focus and Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs).

Case Studies from Tanzania: Emotional Demonstrations of Handwashing with Soap at Vaccination Centres & Sustaining Open Defecation-Free Status

Case Studies from Tanzania: Emotional Demonstrations of Handwashing with Soap at Vaccination Centres & Sustaining Open Defecation-Free Status. SNV Tanzania, February 2019. snv

These case studies provide practical information for implementing innovative WASH interventions, and brief discussions on challenges and lessons learned by the SNV Tanzania team and their partners in communities.

Innovative approaches to sustain handwashing with soap and open defecation free status in rural communities in Tanzania

By SSH4A Tanzania

In Tanzania, SNV has developed, under the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene For All programme, two innovative approaches to sustain handwashing with soap and open defecation free status in rural communities. These are triggering with soap at vaccination centres and Jirani (neighbours) sanitation groups.

The first intervention consists of triggering at vaccination centres as they were found to be ideal places to raise awareness of the importance of washing hands with soap among pregnant women, mothers and other caregivers.

The second intervention is based on having neighbours who monitor the sanitation and hygiene progress of the households closest to their homes and sensitise other neighbours on the importance of building, taking care of, and improving sanitation and handwashing facilities.

The following case studies provide practical information for implementing the interventions, and brief discussions on the remaining challenges and lessons learned by the SNV team and their partners on the ground:

SSH4A Tanzania, 2019. Emotional demonstrations (emo-demos) of handwashing with soap at vaccination centres. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: SNV Tanzania. 8 p. Download case study

SSH4A Tanzania, 2019. Jirani sanitation groups : sustaining open defecation free status in Tanzania. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: SNV Tanzania Download case study

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