Category Archives: Emergency Sanitation

Emergency WASH – Water Currents

Emergency WASH – Water Currents, September 5, 2017.

The current cholera crisis in Yemen is just the latest example of the need for practical evidence-based recommendations and updated research on WASH in emergency settings.This issue focuses on case studies, recent research, and innovative approaches to implementing WASH services in emergencies, and includes links to recent publications about water treatment, menstrual hygiene management, container-based sanitation, among other topics. Also featured are links to relevant websites and select WASH news items, including several on the cholera epidemic in Yemen. watercurrentsissue

Publications and Videos 
WASH Interventions in Disease Outbreak ResponseOxfam, February 2017. This synthesis identifies, combines, and evaluates existing evidence from 47 studies on the impacts of 10 different WASH interventions during disease outbreaks in 51 humanitarian contexts in 19 low and middle-income countries.

Short-Term WASH Interventions in Emergency Responses in Low and Middle-Income CountriesInternational Initiative for Impact Evaluation, February 2017. WASH interventions are used in nearly all emergency contexts, but limited evidence is available to support best practices and effective use. This literature review synthesizes findings from 106 studies to assess the effectiveness of 13 specific interventions.

Read the complete issue.

A big-picture look at the world’s worst Ebola epidemic

A big-picture look at the world’s worst Ebola epidemic. Hutch News, April 12, 2017.

International team of scientists show how real-time sequencing and data-sharing can help stop the next outbreak

An international effort to analyze the entire database of Ebola virus genomes from the 2013–2016 West African epidemic reveals insights into factors that sped or slowed the rampage and calls for using real-time sequencing and data-sharing to contain future viral disease outbreaks.

Published online today in the journal Nature, the analysis found that the epidemic unfolded in small, overlapping outbreaks with surprisingly few infected travelers sparking new outbreaks elsewhere, each case representing a missed opportunity to break the transmission chain and end the epidemic sooner.

dudas

Dr. Gytis Dudas, a Mahan Postdoctoral Fellow at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is the paper’s lead author. Photo by Bo Jungmayer / Fred Hutch News Service

“We calculated that 3.6 percent of cases traveled, basically meaning that if you were able to focus on those mobile cases and reduce their mobility, you might have had a disproportionate effect on the epidemic,” said computational biologist Dr. Gytis Dudas, a Mahan Postdoctoral Fellow at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the paper’s lead author.

The West African Ebola epidemic dwarfed all previous central African outbreaks of the virus, sickening more than 28,000 people and killing more than 11,000 of them.

The 1,610 Ebola virus genomes analyzed by the researchers represented more than 5 percent of the known cases, the largest sample analyzed for a single human epidemic. The analysis is the first to look at how Ebola spread, proliferated and declined across all three countries most affected: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Previous analyses focused primarily on either a single country, a limited time frame or used fewer sequences.

Read the complete article.

Guide to Community Engagement in WASH: A practitioner’s guide, based on lessons from Ebola

Guide to Community Engagement in WASH: A practitioner’s guide, based on lessons from Ebola, November 2016. Oxfam.

This guide is a compilation of best practices and key lessons learned through Oxfam’s experience of community engagement in the 2014–15 Ebola responses in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

It provides ideas for all stages of an intervention, including the importance of assessment; principles and methods for community engagement; the challenges of scaling-up responses and changing communities’ behaviours; and reflections on how to better advocate for communities.

Drawing on semi-structured interviews and input from practitioners in various agencies, as well as a literature review, this guide aims to inform public health practitioners and programme teams about the design and implementation of community-centred approaches during a disease outbreak.

 

CLTS in Post Emergency and Fragile States Settings

CLTS Knowledge Hub at IDS  – Recording of a webinar on CLTS in Post Emergency and Fragile States Settings held on the 21st July 2016.

Speaker: Frank Greaves, Tearfund

 

Toilets That Turn Urine Into Electricity To Be Installed In Refugee Camps

Toilets That Turn Urine Into Electricity To Be Installed In Refugee Camps | Source: HuffPost Tech, July 7 2016 |

A revolutionary urinal that uses bacterial metabolism to turn urine into electricity is set to be used to improve sanitation facilities in refugee camps.

pee

BRISTOL BIOENERGY CENTRE (UWE)

The toilet, which has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Fund, generates enough electricity to light facilities, aiding the safety of people in communal accommodation.

The technology was trialled by over a thousand people a day at last month’s Glastonbury festival, where the electricity was used to illuminate the cubicle housing the urinal.

In collaboration with Oxfam and other organisations,the researchers are now planning to test the urinals in India and in some regions of Africa.

Read the complete article.

Beyond hardware: how a portable sink can inspire behaviour change

Beyond hardware: how a portable sink can inspire behaviour change by Geoff Revell at WaterSHED | Source: WaterAid Blog, June 29, 2016 |

Despite having a cheap and simple fix that could prevent millions of deaths, how to encourage handwashing has puzzled WASH sector experts for years. The rate of handwashing with soap after using the toilet is still estimated to be only 16%. So how do we get people to wash their hands? Geoff Revell, Program Director at WaterAid partner NGO WaterSHED, explains how development of the HappyTap sheds light on new ways to target behaviour. 

happy-tap-645x401

Children using a Happy Tap at school in Ben Tre province, Vietnam.

Awareness campaigns have long been the mainstay of public health efforts to improve handwashing, but on their own they are typically unsuccessful. A multi-year, large-scale behaviour-change campaign in Vietnam, led by World Bank and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, put the challenge in focus. The evaluation of the campaign concluded: ‘the intervention led to an increase in knowledge’, but ‘handwashing with soap behavior in the target population has not changed substantially as a result of the intervention, and thus no health or productivity impacts are found’.

Unfortunately, there is a persistent gap between knowledge and action; after years of education and promotion, many families understand when and why to wash their hands, but still aren’t doing it. Various studies, including one from Kyrgyzstan, have shown a link between the presence of handwashing facilities and rates of handwashing, suggesting a possible causal relationship. But is having more sanitary hardware enough to get people to routinely wash their hands?

Bridging the adoption gap

It’s unlikely that any single intervention would be a silver bullet. However, although sanitary hardware might help improve rates of washing, we can go beyond the physical hardware and use facilities to reinforce and build on awareness. The HappyTap is the first such hardware designed with behaviour change front and centre. It’s a portable sink that not only delivers functionality, but also inspires change.

How can a handwashing station be more than the sum of its parts? Three crucial elements in the design and marketing help boost its success.

Read the complete article.

WHO – Recovery Toolkit: Supporting countries to achieve health service resilience

Recovery Toolkit: Supporting countries to achieve health service resilience: A library of tools & resources available during the recovery period of a public health emergency, 2016.

WHO

The overall goal of this Toolkit is to support countries in the reactivation of essential health services in the aftermath of a public health emergency. The Toolkit has been constructed to support the implementation of national health plans. The initial target audience are WHO Country Offices, for onward sharing and dissemination to ministries of health and implementation partners in-country.

Pages 44 – 48 are focused on WASH resources.