Tag Archives: handwashing

WASH for Life grants for the HappyTap and six other innovations

WaterSHED’s Vietnamese HappyTap. Photo: WaterSHED

The HappyTap, a low-cost handwashing device for the Vietnamese market, is one of seven innovations to receive a grant from the WASH for Life Partnership. This US$ 17 million initiative is co-funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV).

In 2010, with USAID support, the WaterSHED program teamed with the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) to develop and market a new handwashing device. The design came from IDEO.org, which itself has received a WASH for Life grant for Clean Kumasi, an digitally-supported approach to Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). Together with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), IDEO.org is working to combat open defecation in Kumasi, Ghana using mobile phones and open-source mapping.

Examples of signs  posted to prompt residents to flash Clean Kumasi. Photo: IDEO.org

Examples of signs posted to prompt residents to flash Clean Kumasi. Photo: IDEO.org

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Save Lives, Clean your Hands – BRAC video

The BRAC WASH programme in Bangladesh has produced a new handwashing promotion video. It shows slides of handwashing promotion sessions for different groups (children, adolescent girls, women, men), as well as for schools, village WASH committees and mosques (imams).

The video was released on 5 May to coincide with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual global campaign  to promote better hand hygiene in health care.



Educational cartoon boosts worm infection prevention

Cover of the Cartoon “The Magic Glasses.

Cover of the Cartoon “The Magic Glasses.

Educational cartoon boosts worm infection prevention | Source: News-Medical, Apr 29, 2013 |

Researchers in China have found that a health education package targeted at schoolchildren can improve hygiene behaviors and reduce the incidence of soil-transmitted helminth infection.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, included 1718 school children aged 9 to 10 years, of whom 893 attended control schools (n=19), and 825 attended intervention schools (n=19). The research was conducted in rural Linxiang City District, Hunan province, where there is a high prevalence of helminth infection but limited awareness or educational activity about the risks.

Both control and intervention schools displayed an awareness poster. However, in the intervention schools, students also took part in an educational package, including a 12-minute cartoon promoting knowledge and prevention awareness, followed by classroom discussions. They also took part in drawing and writing competitions that reinforced the cartoon’s messages, and received a pamphlet summarizing the main points. All students received albendazole treatment at baseline.

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UNICEF/Malawi: CLTS Triggering Tools: How to Trigger for Hand Washing with Soap

UNICEF/Malawi: CLTS Triggering Tools: How to Trigger for Hand Washing with Soap, March 2013.

An Excerpt: The tools outlined by this document were developed based on actual field research in testing, done as a collaborative effort between UNICEF and Salima District Council. Salima was selected for the research and testing of new hand washing triggering tools because they already had experience attempting to incorporate hand washing into their triggering process, and also have data showing high numbers of new hand washing facilities being built after CLTS. Also, Salima was selected because they implement CLTS continuously as part of their routine extension staff work.

Nine different tools were tested for how well they instilled a realization of the importance of hand washing with soap (HWWS). When these tools were used, hand washing practice increased by 69% and soap availability at hand washing facilities increased by 15%, compared to when CLTS didn’t include specific
tools to trigger HWWS. However please take these guidelines with a grain of salt, as they are based on a small sample size, overall only a few villages.


  • Anal Cleansing Materials
  • Shit and Shake
  • Cassava/Egg Demonstration
  • Charcoal
  • Smelly Hands
  • Charcoal Smearing
  • Scratch & Smell
  • Wall Contamination
  • Food Sharing
  • Dirt Under Fingernails

WASHplus Weekly: A Handwashing Update

Issue 97 | April 19, 2013 | A Hand Washing Update

The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap (PPPHW) gave WASHplus permission to share this summary of recent hand washing literature that was recently prepared for the partnership. It includes 13 studies published in 2012 and one published in 2013. In one such study the authors suggest that hand washing promotion could improve child well‐being and societal productivity. According to the literature review, very little has been published in peer‐reviewed journals on motivators and barriers to hand washing behavior and the impact of hand washing promotion in humanitarian emergency settings. Links are provided to the abstracts or full text of articles in the citations section. washplus-weekly

Periodic Overview of Hand Washing Literature: Summary of Selected PeerReviewed and Grey Literature Published July–December 2012. 

Prepared for the PPPHW by: Jelena Vujcic (University at Buffalo), Pavani K. Ram (University at Buffalo), Dan Campbell (CARE), and Katie Carroll (FHI 360).


  • A systematic review of cohort studies that reported diarrhea incidence in low- and middle-income countries showed that diarrhea incidence rates are declining slightly (1.9 billion episodes of childhood diarrhea in 1990 compared to almost 1.7 billion episodes in 2010), but the total burden on child health is still large (Fischer Walker et al. 2012).
  • One study in Tanzania found that hands and water are important sources of both viral and bacterial pathogens that cause diarrhea, underscoring the importance of efforts to promote hand washing (Mattioli et al. 2012).

Takeaway for implementers:

  • The burden of diarrheal disease among children is still unacceptably high in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Hands are an important vector of diarrheal pathogens.

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RFP: Research for Hygiene Behavioural Change among School Children in the Philippines

UNICEF has issued a request for proposal for “Research for Hygiene Behavioural Change among School Children in the Philippines”.

The aim of the consultancy to “craft a simple, scalable and sustainable strategy, program and tools based on the EHCP [Essential Health Care Program] that would lead to improved and sustained hygiene practice and toilet use”.

The EHCP is the Department of Education’s “flagship national health program for promoting group handwashing with soap, group toothbrushing with toothpaste and biannual deworming in public elementary schools”.

The consultancy will build on the findings of the Sustainable Sanitation in Schools Project, which was launched in 2011 by UNICEF, GIZ and Fit for School.

The main research question is: “Does daily group hand washing with soap in school result in the independent practice of hand washing with soap at critical times, particularly after using the toilet in school and before eating/handling food?”

Project Duration: 12 months (May 1, 2013 – April 30, 2014)

Deadline for submission: 10:00 am (GMT) on Monday, 15 April 2013

For more information read the full RFP.

Save Lives: Clean Your Hands – 5 May 2013

Save lives: Clean Your Hands. Photo: WHO

Photo: WHO

This annual global campaign on 5 May supports the World Health Organization’s (WHO) effort to improve hand hygiene in health care and thus prevent often life threatening healthcare-associated infections (HAI).

It was launched in 2009 as a follow-up to WHO’s First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care work.

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Uptake of hand washing with soap or soapy water from a large-scale cluster randomized community trial in urban Bangladesh

ICDDRB Health & Science Bulletin, 10(4) Dec 2012

Uptake of hand washing with soap or soapy water from a large-scale cluster randomized community trial in urban Bangladesh (pdf)

Small-scale studies have shown that intensive hand washing promotion reduces disease, but there is little evidence that largescale hand washing promotion programs change behaviour. We deployed a community-based hand washing promotion intervention and used the presence of water and soap or soapy water at hand washing stations as a proxy indicator for hand washing behaviour and found encouraging results. A cluster randomized cholera vaccine trial conducted in a low-income urban area of Dhaka included those who received the vaccine only (Vaccine Only group), those who received the vaccine and a hand washing and water treatment intervention (Vaccine+HWT group), and those who were neither vaccinated nor received the intervention (Control group). Among the Vaccine+HWT group, the presence of water and soap or soapy water at the hand washing place increased from 22% (41/190) at baseline to 60% (102/171) at the 11-month assessment point (p<0.001). We found no significant increase in the presence of water and soap or soapy water among the Control group or the Vaccine Only group during the same period.

Our findings suggest that hand washing behaviour changed following implementation of a large-scale intervention in a low-income urban setting that provided hardware to enable hand washing and encouraged regular hand washing. Further research on health impact of hand washing with soap in this community and the sustainability of using soapy water could help optimize recommendations for improving hand washing practices in other low-income communities.

Alive & Thrive – Reducing stunting through improved feeding and handwashing

Handwashing with soap before handling a child’s food is critical to child health and nutrition. Alive & Thrive, the Institute of Public Health Nutrition, and the Department of Public Health Engineering launched a campaign in Bangladesh linking handwashing and adequate, appropriate, and safe complementary feeding. alive&thrive

Materials include a summary of the handwashing initiative, an advocacy brief, TV spot, poster, job aid, and reminder sticker.

Fifth Emergency Environmental Health Forum, London, UK, 17-19 December 2012

The focus of forum is the Public Health Promotion (PHP) aspect of water and sanitation programmes. Presentations on this theme address topics such as new technologies and hygiene promotion, menstrual hygiene management, metrics for assessing the impact of hygiene promotion activities and Community Led Total Sanitation in the emergency environment.

The forum is convened by the SHARE Research Consortium and sponsored by Oxfam, IFRC, ICRC, International Rescue Committee, ACF, MSF and UNICEF.

The forum, which is being held on 17-18 December will be followed by a separate one day event on 19 December organised by the Hygiene Promotion Forum on hand washing. Participants will share examples of hardware solutions used in the field for hand washing and best practices on promotion and social marketing.

To register for both events go to: 5eehforum.eventbrite.com/