Issue 156 | August 1, 2014 | Focus on Hand Washing
This issue contains journal articles and reports published to date in 2014 on hand washing. Journal articles include an updated review of hand washing’s health effects, an evaluation on the use of soapy water, a new Community Handwashing Guide, and an article on the Super Amma campaign in India.
Reports include a review of hand washing in the perinatal period, a social media toolkit from the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing, a report from the Institute of Development Studies on developing hand washing campaigns as part of community-led total sanitation programs, and others.
What Does Sustainability Mean for Handwashing and Hygiene? Handwashing & Hygiene Track, Sustainability Forum, July 2014. Overview by J Rosenbaum, USAID/WASHplus. (Link)
The literature on improving hand washing practice and then sustaining or maintaining the practice suggests determinants such as social norms, policy, and presence of “enabling technologies” (like tippy taps and water treatment products) are the primary factors required to sustain behaviors rather than issues around functioning hardware, community maintenance, and local governance. These technology and systems issues lie within the household domain rather than with community or government. Availability of key supplies and spare parts, and willingness to pay also factor into the equation, as does sustained maintenance of hand washing stations and water filters.
Periodic Overview of Handwashing Literature: Summary of Selected Peer-Reviewed and Grey Literature Published July – December 2013. The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW). (Link)
Twice a year, PPPHW publishes overviews of handwashing literature that provide practical guidance for implementers. This is a compilation of peer-reviewed and grey literature that were published between July through December 2013.
2014 JOURNAL ARTICLES BY PUBLICATION DATE
Hygiene and Health: Systematic Review of Handwashing Practices Worldwide and Update of Health Effects. Trop Med Int Health, Aug 2014. M Freeman. (Link)
From the 42 studies reporting hand washing prevalence the authors estimate that approximately 19 percent of the world’s population washes hands with soap after contact with excreta (i.e., use of a sanitation facility or contact with children’s excreta). Meta-regression of risk estimates suggests that hand washing reduces the risk of diarrheal disease by 40 percent; however, when they included an adjustment for unblinded studies, the effect estimate was reduced to 23 percent. Results show that hand washing after contact with excreta is poorly practiced globally, despite the likely positive health benefits.