Quiet Heroes in the Fight against Ebola

While the Ebola crisis was at its peak in Liberia, a small group of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) entrepreneurs helped in a significant way by repairing hand pumps in clinics and other health facilities in some of the country’s hardest-hit counties. By restoring access to water — not only for drinking, but also for infection prevention and control — these WASH entrepreneurs ensured that facilities had the resources they needed to promote handwashing and safe hygiene practices that could help combat the spread of the disease.

Water Currents: Global Handwashing Day 2017

Global Handwashing Day is celebrated each year on October 15 to increase awareness and understanding around the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. USAID recognizes washing hands with soap at critical times as a vital step in curbing the spread of diarrhea and respiratory illness, and promoting healthy growth.

Exploring the Handwashing Research of Dr. Reshmaan Hussam

This Global Handwashing Day explore the handwashing research of Dr. Reshmaan Hussam, an economist and assistant professor at Harvard Business School, on Global Waters Radio. Dr. Hussam chats with Senior Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and Social Behavior Change Advisor Nga Nguyen from USAID’s Office of Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition about her team’s fieldwork in West Bengal, India.

Handwashing with Soap, Where Are We?

Global Handwashing Day (October 15) was established in 2008 as a platform to advocate for greater attention to hand hygiene. This effort, combined with many other efforts to bring attention to the need for improved water supply, sanitation, and hygiene, have resulted in the inclusion of handwashing as an indicator within the Sustainable Development Goals (6.2.1 Population with a basic handwashing facility with soap and water available on premise). With this, more countries than ever before have begun to include handwashing with soap as an indicator in their routine data collection.

Water Currents: Focus on Swachh Bharat

The Prime Minister of India launched the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission on October 2, 2014, to improve the level of sanitation and cleanliness by October 2, 2019, marking the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Swachh Bharat has two components: Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) for rural areas and the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) for urban areas. To date, this campaign has rallied all corners of Indian society toward its ambitious sanitation goals, including enlisting Bollywood stars and prominent athletes to create awareness.

Norms, Nudges, or Addiction: Understanding Drivers for Handwashing Behavior

On September 12th, the Global Handwashing Partnership (GHP) and USAID hosted a webinar on behavior change strategies for handwashing with soap.

In this webinar, Nga Nguyen with USAID, Dr. Reshmaan Hussam, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Dr. Hans Mosler of the University of Zurich and EAWAG, presented updates on recent research and key implications of two frameworks for handwashing behavior change. The presenters also answered questions on how to apply these approaches and share new learning and advocacy resources.

Water Currents: Handwashing Research

Highlighting the most recent handwashing research, this issue of Currents includes literature reviews by the Global Handwashing Partnership, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, and an interesting report on handwashing and rational addiction. Articles discuss handwashing research in Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe as well as studies on handwashing and infectious diseases, among other topics.