Welcome to the thirteenth issue of the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub News Bulletin. This week, we are recapping on activities held across the world for Global Handwashing Day last Thursday 15th October, the launch of the new Handwashing Handbook and sharing both a learning brief on “What have we learned about promoting hand hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic?and four new case studies from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria and Zambia.

It is also with great sadness that we share the news that Professor Val Curtis passed away on 19 October. Val was an accomplished researcher, talented educator and instrumental in making hygiene an important component of the global health agenda. She played a critical role in having hygiene included under the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, co-founded the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (now the Global Handwashing Partnership), helped establish Global Handwashing Day, co-developed the Behaviour Centred Design model for behaviour change, and worked with organisations in over 70 countries on the design and evaluation of innovative WASH interventions including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Val was a valued member of the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub's technical advisory team and will be greatly missed.

Global Handwashing Day

Throughout last week, there were a series of events to raise the profile of hand hygiene at the global and national level. You can find recordings or more details at the following links:

  • Virtual Conference on Hand Hygiene from 12-15 October 2020: Hosted by UNICEF in partnership with SWA, WHO, FANSA, WSSCC, WaterAid, Plan International. See here for links to available recordings.

Ongoing events include::

  • The Handwashing Thursday Series: Hosted by the Global Handwashing Partnership, this learning series will meet every Thursday from 22nd October - 17th December and will discuss various topics from the new Handwashing Handbook. The new handbook will be a go-to resource, presenting best practices and new concepts to improve the uptake of handwashing. Please register for all or some of the series here:

If you are interested in sharing your experience of Global Handwashing Day with a case study, please get in touch and contact claire.collin@lshtm.ac.uk.

Launch of the new Handwashing Handbook

The 2020 Handwashing Handbook is based on the experience of the Global Handwashing Partnership and presents best practices and new concepts to improve the uptake of handwashing. The Handwashing Handbook focuses on:

  • Making the Case for Handwashing
  • Designing and Implementing Handwashing Programs
  • Improving Handwashing in Specific Contexts
  • Addressing Handwashing at a Systems Level

New learning brief “What have we learned about promoting hand hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic?”

In this learning brief, the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub presents 10 key lessons that have emerged from global COVID-19 response programming and 10 actions to improve long-term handwashing behaviour and hygiene programming. These insights emerged from hundreds of formal and informal conversations and interactions with programme implementers across 60 countries between April and October 2020.

You can also catch Sian from the Hygiene Hub talking about the learnings on a Facebook live video with CAWST last week here. The full brief can be found here.

Case studies on COVID-19 response

This week, we are sharing four case studies from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nigeria and Zambia to share covering different types of COVID-19 response.

In Bangladesh, BRAC and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) have been building community handwashing stations across 20 sub-districts and trialling different communication material designs to effectively communicate to at-risk populations whilst they wash their hands. For more details, read here.

Image: An image of the handwashing poster on one of the 14 pilot handwashing stations.

In Indonesia, UNICEF have been moving into the “transitional” phase of their COVID-19 response and providing technical support to the government to develop a national monitoring system for key target behaviours. For more details, read here.

Image: Lia, 23, is helping her daughter, Nur Halizha, 6, wash her hands at her home in East Jakarta, Indonesia on 4 September, 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lia and Nur Halizha wash their hands more frequently in their daily lives. According to Lia, washing hands is one way to fight COVID-19. UNICEF/Arimacs Wilander

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Presidential Task Force (PTF) and the UK Government are gathering community insights and improving community engagement nationally through social media campaigns. For more details, read here.

Image: Campaign video targeting elderly and vulnerable people.

In Zambia, three partners (Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3), Ministry of Health Zambia and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Zambia (FCDO)) have come together to track the incidence of cases and risk factors for COVID-19 through geospatial maps and to pivot their COVID-19 response. For more details, read here.

Image: A geographical layer showing the difficulty of observing physical distancing based on building density in Lusaka, Zambia.

Links to all case studies can be found here.

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