Tag Archives: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Tropical plant Moringa provides alternative to soap for handwashing

Moringa oleofera leaves and powde

Moringa oleofera leaves and powder. Photo: New Flavor House Inc.

SHARE-funded research [1] has found that Moringa oleifera, a common plant in many tropical and subtropical countries, can be an effective handwashing product if used in the correct concentration. Laboratory tests show that the plant has antibacterial activity against different pathogen, but its potential effect as a hand washing product had not been studied before.

By testing the effect of Moringa oleifera leaf powder on hands artificially contaminated with E. coli and comparing this to the effect of non-medicated liquid soap, the researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and SBI Consulting Ltd in Mozambique found that four grams of Moringa oleifera powder had the same effect as non-medicated soap when used for hand washing.

The next step will be to try this product in real conditions and study its acceptability and convenience for potential users.

To take part in a discussion on the use of Moringa as soap visit the SuSanA  Forum.

SHARE stands for Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity, and is a five year initiative (2010-2015) funded by the UK Department for International Development

[1] Torondel, B., Opare, D., Brandberg, B., Cobb, E. and Cairncross, S., 2014. Efficacy of Moringa oleifera leaf powder as a hand- washing product : a crossover controlled study among healthy volunteers. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 14 (57), pp. 1-7.   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-57

Source: SHARE, 21 Feb 2014

Measuring WASH and food hygiene practices – post 2015 goals

A new paper reviews the case for the importance of hand, food and menstrual hygiene as candidates for post-MDG goal and target setting. Of the three themes, handwashing with soap at key times is the one which has been the subject of most research and therefore is associated with the strongest evidence base.

The paper was written by a team from the Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) under contract to USAID. It is an output of the Hygiene Working Group, one of the four Post-2015 Monitoring Working Groups set up by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP). The purpose of the background paper is to stimulate and inform discussion, but not to make any claims for consensus nor suggest that any of the definitions, indicators, goals or targets proposed are final.

In 2013 the United Nations General Assembly will be asked to decide what development goals the international community should seek beyond 2015. The decision will be made based on a proposal that will be submitted to the General Assembly. This proposal will include goals, targets and indicators pertaining to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The indicators proposed will reflect principles associated with the human right to drinking water and sanitation.

Related web sites:

Full reference:

Biran, A., et al, 2012. Background paper on measuring WASH and food hygiene practices : definition of goals to be tackled post 2015 by the Joint Monitoring Programme. London, UK, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/72911>

Sanitation pioneer Sandy Cairncross awarded OBE for championing toilets for the poorest

Sandy Cairncross

Professor Sandy Cairncross, a UK scientist who has devoted his career to saving lives in the world’s poorest countries by improving sanitation and hygiene – including revolutionising attitudes to toilets – was honoured with an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on 11 June 2011.

His citation reads: “Professor Sandy Cairncross has probably done more in the last 30 years to save lives and improve living standards in developing countries by advancing the neglected field of sanitation and hygiene than anyone else in the field. As a result of his influence many more people in the developing world have survived to enjoy better health from living in safer environments“.

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This Wormy World: Global Atlas of Helminth Infections

This Wormy World web site

A new web site – thiswormyworld.org – with maps showing the distribution and prevalence of worm infections in sub-Saharan Africa was launched on 17 August 2010.

These maps are the first of a series in the Global Atlas of Helminth Infections, an open-access information resource on the distribution of soil-transmitted helminths (roundworm, whipworm and hookworm) and schistosomiasis. Initial coverage is limited to countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but similar maps for Asia, Latin America and the Middle East will be available by the end of 2010.

By proving reliable, up-to-date maps of worm distributions, “This Wormy World” aims to help policy-makers and programme managers develop and implement national deworming programmes.

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