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Antibiotic waste is polluting India and China’s rivers; big pharma must act

25 October 2016 12:01 (America/New_York)

Antibiotic waste is polluting India and China’s rivers; big pharma must act. The Guardian, October 25, 2016.

Pollution from drugs factories, many in India and China, is causing the spread of anti-microbial resistance. Pharma companies are under pressure to act 

A strain of the E coli bacteria. Pollution from pharmaceutical production is a factor in the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Illustration: Janice Carr/AP

Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are a fundamental threat to global health, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon recently told a general assembly meeting. Failure to address the problem, he said, would make it “difficult if not impossible” to provide universal healthcare, “and it will put the sustainable development goals in jeopardy”.

For pharmaceutical companies the attention on antimicrobial resistance has also brought a focus on one of its key drivers: the unabated environmental pollution of drug factories in developing countries.

In India and China, where a large proportion of antibiotics are produced, the poorly regulated discharge of untreated wastewater into soils and rivers is causing the spread of antibiotic ingredients which cause bacteria to develop immunity to antibiotics, creating superbugs.

A study of wastewater factories in China found that antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding. For every bacterium that entered one waste treatment plant, four or five antibiotic-resistant bacteria were released into the water system, tainting water, livestock and communities.

Read the complete article.

Filed under: Sanitation and Health Tagged: antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance

Use public money to fund Africa’s water and sewerage systems

25 October 2016 11:37 (America/New_York)

Use public money to fund Africa’s water and sewerage systems. Mail & Guardian Africa, October 25, 2016.

Developed countries used government revenue rather than private funds to build infrastructure, so why not Africa?

African stakeholders have called for water supply and sanitation to be a priority at the next meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. They want the November meeting of COP22 to integrate issues related to water supply and sanitation with the climate change agenda.

A refugee waits to collect water from a well at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan on April 17 2013. (Andreea Campeanu, Reuters)

Some progress has been made on water and sanitation in the past 20 years. Under the millennium development goals, rates of access in sub-Saharan Africa increased by 20% for drinking water and 6% for sanitation between 1990 and 2015.

But far more needs to be done. Population growth means the number of people without access to drinking water increased from 265-million in 1990 to 316-million in 2015 and those without safe sanitation from 388-million to 692-million.

The sector is in dire need of extensive investment. Estimates vary slightly but, to achieve the millennium development goal targets, Africa would have to spend about $15-billion annually; current spending is about $3.6-billion.

To close the gap, there is support for greater private investment in water in developing countries. But the reality is that the financing gap in Africa can only be addressed viably and equitably with a major increase in public investment.

Read the complete article.

Filed under: Africa, Economic Benefits Tagged: public finance

Emergence of community toilets as a public good: The sanitation work of Mahila Milan, NSDF and SPARC in India

24 October 2016 12:49 (America/New_York)

Emergence of community toilets as a public good: The sanitation work of Mahila Milan, NSDF and SPARC in India, 2016. SHARE.

This report summarises SHARE-supported sanitation work in India. It outlines how a sanitation strategy was developed, and the execution of multi-decadal projects that have resulted in a number of cities renewing their commitment to invest in city-wide sanitation.


Filed under: Hygiene Promotion, South Asia, Uncategorized Tagged: community toilets, India, urban sanitation

The e-waste mountains – in pictures

24 October 2016 12:42 (America/New_York)

The e-waste mountains – in pictures. The Guardian, October 18 2016.

Sustainable development goal target 12.5 is to reduce waste. But with a planet increasingly dependent on technology, is that even possible?

As of today, over 30m tonnes of electronic waste has been thrown out so far this year, according to the World Counts. Most e-waste is sent to landfills in Asia and Africa where it is recycled by hand, exposing the people who do it to environmental hazards. Photograph: Kai Loeffelbein/laif

Kai Loeffelbein’s photographs of e-waste recycling in Guiyu, southern China show what happens to discarded computers.

Read the complete article.

Filed under: Multimedia Tagged: e-waste

Science, Silver Bullets, and Sanitation: How Operational Research Improved Plan’s Global Programming

24 October 2016 12:32 (America/New_York)

Science, Silver Bullets, and Sanitation: How Operational Research Improved Plan’s Global Programming. 

Plan International is a pioneer of the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach — a method that triggers community-wide behavior change on sanitation practices, ending open defecation, and stimulating household investment in toilets.

We tested, implemented, and evaluated the relative effect of different CLTS facilitation methods to examine how scalability and sustainability improved under alternate models. This comparison was coupled with “deep dive” evaluations in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya, complemented by seven rapid evaluations worldwide to compare and contrast the findings.

CLA Approach

  • Knowledge Management: Our project design focused on structured activities aligned with a Learn, Capture, and Share framework, which incorporated applied research through experimental pilots in Kenya, Ghana, and Ethiopia; structured knowledge collection and analysis; and comprehensive knowledge sharing throughout the life of the project.
  • Adaptive Management: During implementation, our Plan practitioners met regularly with researchers from the University of North Carolina to review, refine, and correct approaches. For example, the project team revised the Kenya pilot and received donor approval for a new design after identifying confounders that weakened the original research design.
  • Pause & Reflect: Every six months, our practitioners review process-based learning from implementation to address common bottlenecks, proposed solutions, and share perspectives on preliminary findings as they were released.
    Lessons Learned

Applying the CLTS approach can have a major impact on increasing latrine adoption and reducing open defecation, but it works well only within a known “performance envelope.”
Engaging local actors is important in driving toward more effective outcomes. How we engage at the community level and in local government can influence the effectiveness of CLTS programming, as can the setting.

Outcomes – Our water, sanitation, and hygiene staff have translated the main results into a set of operational standards and recommendations for the organization.

Filed under: Research Tagged: Community-Led Total Sanitation, Plan International

Community-generated data crucial for implementing New Urban Agenda

21 October 2016 13:41 (America/New_York)

Community-generated data crucial for implementing New Urban Agenda. CitiScope, Oct 20 2016.

Good urban planning can’t happen without a better understanding of informal settlements, advocates say.

Earlier this year, when the Liberian government wanted to demolish informal housing in the West Point section of Monrovia, local community members had a strong argument to dissuade them.

West Point, Monrovia. (Nick Fraser/flickr/cc)

Thanks to a slum profiling initiative done the previous year through Shack/Slum Dwellers International, the community knew that many of West Point’s rudimentary, wooden toilets — so-called “hanging toilets” because of how they are built over the water — were located where the demolitions would take place. The toilets likely would get destroyed too.

Destroying the toilets, they argued, would pose a public health threat.

“That was where we came with our data and said ‘no’,” recalls Bill Jlateh Harris, of Shack/Slum Dwellers International, who lives in West Point. “If you take away [toilets] you expose us to open defecation and disease outbreaks. We appealed to them, using our documents, to stop the demolition exercise. It worked. Those structures are still there, in fact. They were not touched.”

The data community members collected in West Point includes information about the number of taps and toilets in the area, as well as population figures. It is available online through the “Know Your City” campaign, a data initiative from Shack/Slum Dwellers international that provides community-generated data from more than 7,700 communities in 224 cities.

Read the complete article.

Filed under: Africa, Hygiene Promotion, Uncategorized Tagged: data collection, Liberia, Monrovia

Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural Cambodia

20 October 2016 12:14 (America/New_York)

Using microfinance to facilitate household investment in sanitation in rural Cambodia. Health Policy and Planning, November 2016.

Improved sanitation access is extremely low in rural Cambodia. Non-governmental organizations have helped build local supply side latrine markets to promote household latrine purchase and use, but households cite inability to pay as a key barrier to purchase.

To examine the extent to which microfinance can be used to facilitate household investment in sanitation, we applied a two-pronged assessment: (1) to address the gap between interest in and use of microfinance, we conducted a pilot study to assess microfinance demand and feasibility of integration with a sanitation marketing program and (2) using a household survey (n = 935) at latrine sales events in two rural provinces, we assessed attitudes about microfinance and financing for sanitation.

We found substantial stated intent to use a microfinance institution (MFI) loan to purchase a latrine (27%). Five percent of current owners used an MFI loan for latrine purchase.

Credit officers attended 159 events, with 4761 individuals attending. Actual loan applications were low, with 4% of sales events attendees applying for a loan immediately following the event (mean = 1.7 loans per event).

Ongoing coordination was challenging, requiring management commitment from the sanitation marketing program and commitment to social responsibility from the MFI.

Given the importance of improving sanitation coverage and concomitant health impacts, linking functional sanitation markets to already operational finance markets has the potential to give individuals and households more financial flexibility.

Further product research and better integration of private vendors and financing modalities are necessary to create a scalable microfinance option for sanitation markets.

Filed under: East Asia & Pacific, Uncategorized Tagged: Cambodia, microfinance

UNC Water Institute WASH Research Policy Digests

19 October 2016 10:28 (America/New_York)

These useful UNC research digests discuss a key article and include literature reviews on the selected topic:

Issue #1, July 2015: Sanitation Subsidies
Our first Digest deals with the difficult issue of when and how to use subsidies for on-site sanitation.

Issue #2, October 2015: WaSH in Healthcare Facilities
Issue two of the WasH Policy Research Digest digs in to the critical issue of WaSH in health care facilities, including a detailed review of WHO and UNICEF’s 2015 report on the topic and a synthesis of literature and solutions to address its impact on infection, mortality, maternal and neonatal health.

Issue #3, March 2016: Handpump Functionality Monitoring
The third issue of the WaSH Policy Research Digest focuses on handpump functionality monitoring. This issue of the Digest explores recent literature on this topic, focusing on policy implications, recommendations, and a call for standardized functionality measurements.

Issue #4, August 2016: Sanitation and Nutrition
Our fourth digest addresses sanitation and nutrition. This issue explores recent literature and the emerging evidence base on the connection between sanitation, nutritional outcomes, and child stunting.

Filed under: Policy, Research, Sanitation and Health Tagged: UNC Water Institute

The Art And Science Of Winning The Poo War

19 October 2016 9:57 (America/New_York)

The Art And Science Of Winning The Poo War, by by Shaon Lahiri , Jyotsna Puri, Businessworld.In.

The Swachh Bharat Mission needs to refocus. Toilets may indeed be more important than temples, but only if they are used

A silent war has gripped India as the forces of open defecation threaten to defeat our overall health. In 2014 Prime Minister Modi, armed with a broom and a now familiar public relations machine, swept the streets of Delhi and Assi Ghat, and exhorted us to dream about winning this war and think of a Swachh Bharat by 2019.

The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), like its predecessors (Total Sanitation Campaign, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan, Central Rural Sanitation Programme, the first national sanitation plan in 1954), is doomed to fail. 

It will fail to achieve its target of an open defecation free India. Even if constructing toilets for all Indians is (miraculously) achieved, building and using toilets are not the same thing.

A survey by the research institute for compassionate economics (r.i.c.e.) conducted in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh found that only 48% of rural households that had a functioning latrine still had at least one household member defecating in the open.

In fact, the percentage of verified open defecation-free (ODF) villages in India stands at a paltry 5%, including those verified before SBM.

Standing in the way of toilet use are a number of factors, such as poorly constructed toilets, lack of access to toilets, the convenience of open defecation, and sociocultural perceptions about impurity and fear of a pit latrine filling up with no recourse for emptying it.

Read the complete article.

Filed under: Progress on Sanitation Tagged: India

Sanitation options for sustainability: reflections from the UNC Conference

19 October 2016 9:31 (America/New_York)

Sanitation options for sustainability: reflections from the UNC Conference, by Lillian Mbeki, Social Marketing and Private Sector Development Specialist Consultant at Water& Sanitation Program. 

I am attending the 2016 Water and Health conference organised by the Water Institute at University of North Carolina USA. The conference whose theme is ‘where science meets policy’ focuses on safe drinking water, sanitation, hygiene and water resources. Participants and presenters include members of academia, governments, development banks, donor agencies and WASH implementers.

When thinking about ODF sustainability and moving up the sanitation ladder an important consideration has been introduction of sanitation options/products. A number of organisation s have to date tried many product options and intervention strategies with varied levels of results. iDE had some lessons to share on what they have learnt from implementing sanitation marketing in Cambodia.

What is the ideal product for households? What is stopping you?
The discussion started with this simple question. The core message being that most programs design products based on some defined assumptions and then invest in changing behaviours of communities to adopt that product. When in essence a consumer centric approach has been seen to be more effective. The iDE experience in both toilet and water filter product development and marketing, led to the conclusion that listening to the consumer’s voice, obeying it and correctly interpreting the consumer’s desire results in much higher program success even at the BoP. So the question is, if we know this, why are we not doing it? Answers to this question include: fear of risk by private sector, lack of data, difficulty in building consensus, limited funding, affordability and lack of appropriate solutions.

If we identify the barriers to developing and designing the ideal solutions for households then we can identify possible solutions to removing the bottlenecks. This is usually the point at which different partnerships with various strengths are identified and the strategy becomes how to leverage their capabilities to make the ideal happen.

Read the complete article.


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Sustainability

State Department Notice of Intent To Solicit Comments and Conduct a Public Scoping Meeting on a Global Water Strategy

18 October 2016 11:58 (America/New_York)

State Department Notice of Intent To Solicit Comments and Conduct a Public Scoping Meeting on a Global Water Strategy – October 17, 2016.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of State (Department) will host a listening session to solicit public comments on the development and content of a strategy to address global water challenges including, but not necessarily limited to: (1) Increasing access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene; (2) improving water resource management; and (3) promoting cooperation on shared waters. Participants will be asked to provide brief remarks (up to 3 minutes) highlighting specific challenges that should be addressed and opportunities to strengthen U.S. engagement on international water issues.

DATES: This session will take place on Friday, October 28 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. in the George C. Marshall Center at the U.S. Department of State, 2201 C St. NW., (21st Street Entrance), Washington, DC. Attendees must confirm their attendance at A photo identification will be necessary to attend the session. Written comments must be received no later than November 12, 2016.

Written comments may be submitted to by following the prompts.

Comments may also be submitted by mail, addressed to: Global Water Strategy Manager, Office of Conservation and Water, Room 2657, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20520 and/or by email to Written comments may also be submitted at the public scoping meeting on Friday, October 28, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Filed under: Campaigns and Events, Research, Uncategorized

Urban Sanitation: A Messy Problem for Habitat III

18 October 2016 11:03 (America/New_York)

Urban Sanitation: A Messy Problem for Habitat III | Source: Reuters, Oct 15, 2016 | by Alberto Wilde, Ghana Country Director | Global Communities

As we approach Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, one of the most essential topics that must be addressed in the New Urban Agenda is urban sanitation.

One in three people in the world lack access to a toilet. The traditional view is that lack of access to toilets is a problem in rural areas. But with rapid urbanization across the developing world, the number of people without access to proper sanitation who live in cities is growing rapidly. This serious urban problem presents a host of new challenges for cities looking to improve sanitation. Since 2011, with Global Communities, I have overseen a series of water and sanitation projects in both rural and urban Ghana. During that time, we’ve identified some of the biggest challenges of urban sanitation:

Lack of planning — In the wealthier neighborhoods of cities that were developed with proper urban planning, providing a toilet can be as simple and low cost as hooking it up to the existing sewer system. But rapid urban expansion in developing countries tends to be in slums which grow haphazardly, with little in the way of planning for the expansion of services, and often little taxation to pay for these services.

Lack of space — In the rural setting the biggest challenge for construction of latrines is finding affordable materials for construction. In an urban environment this is less of a problem as materials can be sourced fairly easily. Instead, the problem is a lack of space. Space, especially in crowded slums, comes at a premium.

Land titling — Most residents in urban settings do not own their land. Whether they are squatting or renting legally, they are not legally permitted to make improvements like adding a toilet, even if they wish to do so. Instead, it is up to the landlord to take the initiative and bear the cost, something that is rarely a priority, especially when they can increase their earnings by adding another room to rent as opposed to a bathroom.

Governance and enforcement — the Government of Ghana has a laudable policy that new homes must have a latrine. However, even when such laws are passed, enforcement can be difficult. Unscrupulous landlords may put a latrine into the architect’s plans but when construction takes place, the space changes function. It is essential that plans are checked both at the beginning and during construction to ensure laws are being followed.

Community consensus — In a rural setting, getting community buy-in for maintenance and usage of latrines can be a challenge. But there is usually a village chief or elder with whom you can engage to help convince other community members. This single point of contact provides extensive advantages in conducting community engagement. In urban settings, this becomes more complex: a variety of groups and interests interact, ranging from government officials, Members of Parliament and local organizations centered on a host of issues. These multi-stakeholder dynamics mean achieving consensus, and ultimately community enforcement, is more challenging.

Despite these challenges, there is much we can do to help expand sanitation in an urban environment. As part of the New Urban Agenda we should prioritize:

Better urban planning: We know that urban centers will continue to grow this century, and undoubtedly place more strain on local governance. But we have also seen a variety of ways, utilizing innovative planning methods that cities can adopt to respond to these issues. In the case of sanitation, they can help ensure that future growth, if not integrated to the sewage system at the time of construction, can be designed to be more easily be connected later. This will help drive down costs to make access to sanitation more equitable.

An integrated approach to urban growth: As well as passing laws requiring latrines, governments have to enforce them at each step. This requires income to pay for enforcement, which requires an integrated approach to urban issues, including street naming, addressing and taxation. Issues of water and sanitation should be built into every stage of urban development so that they are addressed alongside other urban challenges and not tacked on as an afterthought.

Subsidies: Governments, and the donors that support them, have to recognize that toilets are a public good that need to be subsidized. Most governments correctly understand the importance of subsidizing things like water and health care to help improve the health outcomes of its citizens. Promoting increased sanitation has been proven to prevent disease, and yet we rarely hear of a government subsidizing toilets. In addition, sanitation adds value to property and communities, ultimately creating prosperity. Providing subsidies, as well as investment in new technologies as opposed to more expensive open-pit latrines, can help drive down costs and make it financially feasible for more people to purchase or construct toilets.

Ultimately, what remains the same whether in urban or rural environments is the need for behavior change. We must continue investing in education and helping people understand the link between open defecation and disease, using community-led total sanitation or other approaches. Whether in an urban or rural environment, once people demand sanitation, governments and the market will be forced to provide it at competitive prices.

Read the complete article.

Filed under: Progress on Sanitation Tagged: urban sanitation

Fed up with no sewers, Pakistan’s slum residents go DIY

18 October 2016 10:57 (America/New_York)

Fed up with no sewers, Pakistan’s slum residents go DIY | Source: Reuters, Oct 13 2016 |

In Orangi Town, home to an estimated 2.4 million people, residents have given up waiting for the government to install public services – and built them by hand

KARACHI, Pakistan, Oct 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – For Sultana Javed, one of dozens of residents living without proper sanitation on her street in the Orangi Town slum, the final straw came when her toddler daughter fell into the soak pit where the family disposed of their waste.

An aerial view of informal settlements in Orangi Town, Karachi on October 4, 2016. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Aamir Saeed

Since moving to the Gulshan-e-Zia area of the slum in Karachi nine years earlier, Javed had poured waste into the soak pit, a porous chamber that lets sewage soak into the ground and is often used by communities that lack toilets.

Javed, whose son caught dengue fever from mosquitoes near the pit outside their home, began mobilising others among 22 families on her street to install their own sewerage system.

“We are fed up with stench of wastewater and frequent mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever. So, we have decided to lay a sewerage pipeline in our street on a self-help basis,” Javed, 45, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Read the complete article.

Filed under: East Asia & Pacific, Hygiene Promotion, Sanitary Facilities Tagged: Orangi, Pakistan

Dying for a pee – Cape Town’s slum residents battle for sanitation

18 October 2016 10:49 (America/New_York)

Dying for a pee – Cape Town’s slum residents battle for sanitation | Source: Reuters, Oct 12 2016 |

Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township is seen in this picture taken October 4, 2016. Picture taken October 4, 2016. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Johnny Miller

CAPE TOWN (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Siphesihle Mbango was just six years old when her friend, Asenathi, begged her to go with her to the toilet then ran outside alone – and was never seen again.

Now 12, Mbango tells the story with an intense, unflinching gaze but her hands, fidgeting nervously as she speaks, show the trauma is still raw.

“We were at the crèche and she wanted me to go with her,” but I told her I was busy, I was playing, I didn’t want to go and she went out by herself,” she said, at her home in a Cape Town slum.

“It was a long time she was away and when the teachers asked me, I told them she went to the toilet. They looked and looked for her for a long, long time. But then we lost hope. We never saw her again.”

Mbango shares a one-room shack with her grandmother and two younger siblings in Endlovisi, a vast sprawl of more than 6,600 corrugated iron shacks perched precariously over the sand dunes on the southeastern edge of the South African city.

Part of Khayelitsha, one of the world’s five biggest slums, Endlovini is home to an estimated 20,000 people who share just 380 or so communal toilets.

However, the family live in an area where there are no easily accessible toilets at all – and according to the community, residents have literally been dying for a pee.

Read the complete article.

Filed under: Africa, Dignity and Social Development Tagged: South Africa, Violence

15 October was Global Handwashing Day: take the quiz!

17 October 2016 3:57 (America/New_York)

Photo: IRC

Are you a Handwashing Champion?

Each year on 15 October, over 200 million people in over 100 countries celebrate Global Handwashing Day. Their aim is to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap. This simple intervention is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Promoting handwashing with soap reduces the risk of diarrhoea by at least 23% according to a 2014 systematic review of research. Handwashing with soap impacts more than just health: it is also beneficial for nutrition, education, economics, and equity.

Global Handwashing Day was founded by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, and is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times. This year’s theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!” For handwashing to be effective it must be practised consistently at key times, such as after using the toilet or before contact with food. While habits must be developed over time, this theme emphasises the importance of handwashing as a ritual behaviour for long-term sustainability.

IRC is proud to be an affiliate member of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing. Especially for Global Handwashing Day we created a fun quiz so that you can not only test your knowledge but also learn a bit about what we are doing to promote handwashing.

Don’t forget to visit the Global Handwashing Day website for resources and updates on  global handwashing promotion. For the latest research and developments, also check out the handwashing posts on Sanitation Updates.

Now take the quiz to see if you are a Handwashing Champion!

This blog was originally posted on the IRC website.


Filed under: Campaigns and Events, Hygiene Promotion, Uncategorized Tagged: Global Handwashing Day, handwashing, IRC, quiz

USAID – Celebrate Global Handwashing Day 2016!

14 October 2016 13:52 (America/New_York)

USAID – Celebrate Global Handwashing Day 2016!

On Global Handwashing Day, we join partners around the world to celebrate the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Handwashing is an important part of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) efforts to end preventable child and maternal deaths. 

Although many people around the world clean their hands with water, the use of soap is also necessary to prevent disease more effectively.

  • Millions of children under the age of 5 years die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. Handwashing with soap could prevent about 1 out of every 3 episodes of diarrheal illnesses and almost 1 out of 6 episodes of respiratory infections like pneumonia.
  • Handwashing with soap is also a key component of clean and safe birthing practices, which could save up to 40 percent of the 2.8 million infants that die during their first month of life.

USAID’s life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs and other development activities promote adoption of handwashing and other hygiene practices as an important element of improved health and nutrition programs.

Learn more

Photo credit: USAID

Filed under: Sanitation and Health, Uncategorized Tagged: Global Handwashing Day, USAID

Handwashing/hygiene research by the SHARE Project

12 October 2016 15:22 (America/New_York)

Below are links to selected studies, videos, etc. by the SHARE project. 

Hygiene Promotion Resource: Choose Soap – The RIU Summary provides an overview of the objectives and intended RIU impact of the SHARE-commissioned Choose Soap toolkit.

Complementary Food Hygiene – An Overlooked Opportunity in the WASH, Nutrition and Health Sectors – This policy brief highlights the often overlooked opportunity that addressing complementary food hygiene offers the WASH, nutrition and health sectors for improving health outcomes.

The Impact of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene on Key Health and Social Outcomes: Review of Evidence – This evidence paper developed by SHARE and UNICEF looks at 10 areas identified collaboratively on which WASH can plausibly have a strong impact: diarrhoea, nutrition, complementary food hygiene, female psychosocial stress, violence, maternal and newborn health, menstrual hygiene management, school attendance, oral vaccine performance, and neglected tropical diseases.

Hygiene Intervention Reduces Contamination of Weaning Food in Bangladesh – This journal paper summarises the findings of a small, SHARE-funded intervention study that sought to reduce the contamination of weaning foods in Bangladesh by using the HACCP approach.

Focus on Handwashing in Emergency Settings – This event report summarises the proceedings of the ‘Focus on Handwashing in Emergency Settings’ event held at LSHTM on 19th December 2012.

Handwashing With Soap Guidelines – This four-page guidance note, produced by SHARE and LSHTM, explains the benefits of handwashing with soap, highlights when it has the most significant public health impact, and provides tips on how to encourage the practice.

Estimating the Potential Impact of Sanitary Child Stool Disposal – This policy brief highlights the often overlooked and enormous potential of hygienic child stool disposal to considerably reduce the prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases.

Effect of a Behaviour Change Intervention on Handwashing with Soap in India (SuperAmma): A Cluster Randomised Trial – This paper summarises the findings of a cluster randomised trial that tested whether a scalable village-level intervention based on emotional drivers of behaviour, rather than knowledge, could improve handwashing behaviour in rural India.

What Drives Handwashing Behaviour? – In this video, Dr Valerie Curtis, Director of the Hygiene Centre at LSHTM, discusses what drives us to wash our hands with soap.

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: handwashing

Handwashing in the news

12 October 2016 11:52 (America/New_York)

Oct 12 – Students can Become ‘Hand Washing Champions’ in Celebration of Global Handwashing Day on October 15th – Each year on October 15th, over 200 million people in over 100 countries take part in celebrations to mark Global Handwashing Day. Once again, Deb Group is heavily involved in this day of advocacy.

Oct 11 – Dettol aims to educate millions across 19 countries on Global Handwashing Day  – As a part of the Global Handwashing Day celebrations, Dettol has launched a global campaign which aims to reach out to millions of people across 19 countries and educate them about importance of handwashing.

Oct 7 – Habits matter for Global Handwashing Day. This is why you should promote them! – Celebrated annually on October 15, Global Handwashing Day is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. This year’s theme is “Make Handwashing a Habit!”. In light of this theme, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss how promoting habits as part of your celebration might lead to the development of sustained handwashing behavior.

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: handwashing

Recently published studies on handwashing

12 October 2016 10:21 (America/New_York)

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Oct 3. pii: 16-0420. Chlorination of Household Drinking Water among Cholera Patients’ Households to Prevent Transmission of Toxigenic Vibrio cholerae in Dhaka City: CHoBI7 Trial.

Authors: Rashid MU, George CM, et. al.

Household members of cholera patients are at a 100 times higher risk of cholera infections than the general population because of shared contaminated drinking water sources and secondary transmission through poor household hygiene practices. In this study, we investigated the bactericidal concentration of free chlorine required to inactivate Vibrio cholerae in household drinking water in Dhaka city. Findings suggest that point-of-use chlorine tablets present an effective approach to inactivate V. cholerae from drinking water in households of cholera patients in Dhaka city.

Matern Child Nutr. 2016 Oct;12 (4):869-84. Handwashing, sanitation and family planning practices are the strongest underlying determinants of child stunting in rural indigenous communities of Jharkhand and Odisha, Eastern India: a cross-sectional study.

Authors: Saxton J, Rath S, et. al.

We sought to identify the strongest determinants of stunting among indigenous children in rural Jharkhand and Odisha, India, to highlight key areas for intervention. In the adjusted model, the strongest protective factors for linear growth included cooking outdoors rather than indoors, birth spacing ≥24 months, and handwashing with a cleansing agent (HAZ +0.32).

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Sep 1;13(9). Exploring Determinants of Handwashing with Soap in Indonesia: A Quantitative Analysis.

Authors: Hirai M, Graham JP, et. al.

This study analyzes rural Indonesian households’ hygiene behaviors and attitudes to examine how motivations for handwashing, locations of handwashing space in the household, and handwashing moments are associated with handwashing with soap as potential determinants of the behavior. Our results showed that determinants that had a significant association with handwashing with soap included: (1) a desire to smell nice; (2) interpersonal influences; (3) the presence of handwashing places within 10 paces of the kitchen and the toilet; and (4) key handwashing moments when hands felt dirty, including after eating and after cleaning child stools. This study concludes that handwashing with soap may be more effectively promoted through the use of non-health messages.

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: handwashing

Robert Dreibelbis on Handwashing Behavior Change in Bangladesh

12 October 2016 9:52 (America/New_York)

Robert Dreibelbis on Handwashing Behavior Change in Bangladesh: Global Waters Radio.

“What we are hoping to do with this study is assess the feasibility of using nudges to change handwashing behavior — so instead of changing how people make decisions, you change the context in which those decisions are actually made.” 

Robert Dreibelbis is a Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and an Assistant Professor in the University of Oklahoma’s Department of Anthropology and Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences.

In honor of Global Handwashing Day (October 15th), Dreibelbis shares with Global Waters Radio his experiences with a handwashing behavior change pilot project in Bangladesh that delivered promising results obtained using subconscious environmental cues called “nudging.”

Without the use of additional handwashing education interventions, the nudge-based intervention implemented by Dreibelbis and his team increased handwashing among school children by 72 percent during the trial period.

Filed under: Hygiene Promotion Tagged: Global Handwashing Day 2016, hand washing


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