Safe sanitation and hygiene key to preventing pandemics like COVID-19

Date: 18th March 2020

Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1202 [name] => Sanitation and Hygiene [slug] => sanitation-and-hygiene [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1202 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 25 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 0 [cat_ID] => 1202 [category_count] => 25 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Sanitation and Hygiene [category_nicename] => sanitation-and-hygiene [category_parent] => 0 ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 146 [name] => WSSCC General [slug] => wsscc-general [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 146 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 72 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 6 [cat_ID] => 146 [category_count] => 72 [category_description] => [cat_name] => WSSCC General [category_nicename] => wsscc-general [category_parent] => 0 ) )

At a time when the global community is hit by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of safe sanitation and hygiene to prevent diseases and live a healthy and fulfilling life is more obvious than ever before.

Safe sanitation and hygiene does not only impact on people’s health. It also impacts on livelihoods, limits opportunities of girls and women and prevents children from attending and finishing school.

Unfortunately, sanitation and hygiene is a forgotten development issue. Globally, some 3 billion people in mainly South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa still lack a basic handwashing facility in their home and nearly 900 million children worldwide lack a basic hygiene service at their school. Similarly, one out of six health care facilities globally lack hand hygiene facilities at points of care.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a UN-hosted membership organization that works to improve sanitation and hygiene for those most left behind and least able to respond. It is the UN entity focusing solely on SDG 6.2 (sanitation, hygiene and menstrual health).

Investing in sanitation and hygiene is acting smartly to prevent diseases.

Here on our website, you will find videos and articles of how WSSCC has worked over the years on sanitation and hygiene, issues to create sustainable change in the lives of those people most left behind. [In response to the current sanitation and hygiene crisis, a new initiative will be launched soon.]

Click the following links to find out more.

Global Sanitation Fund: Sprinting the Last Mile: Nepal’s Sanitation Campaign in the Terai
Article: WSSCC network helps spread handwashing message through fun activities for children
Resources: Clean Hands for All: New tools for hygiene advocacy
Research: Hand Washing Practice in ASEH Project Area – A Study for Impact Monitoring
Song: “Wash Your Hands O!” music video by Sunny Neji for Global Handwashing Day
Photos and Videos: Reaching the unreached in South Asia

Related News

GENEVA – Closure of Europe and high-income countries in peacetime may be unprecedented, but the war against preventable diseases such as COVID-19, cholera, polio, measles, and Ebola has long been raging for the 3 billion people who lack basic hand-washing facilities in their homes. Nearly three-quarters of the populations in the poorest countries have no […]

  National governments are responding to the Coronavirus on an unprecedented scale. In addition to school closures and bans on large gatherings, borders are closing, flights are cancelled and whole populations are in lockdown as we collectively try to contain the virus. Each of us is touched by this very public health emergency. We are […]

By Renu Kshetry As far back as she can remember, Lakhani Devi Rishidev’s family has never owned their own land. “How could they ever save to buy land? They never even had enough to feed the family,” she says. The stalwart 60-year-old grandmother of seven lives with her sons and their families in a flimsy […]

  By Machrine Birungi Geneva, SWITZERLAND – Pakistan has come a long way in bringing down open defecation. A recent WHO/UNICEF report shows that the phenomenon has been reduced by around 30 percent since the year 2000. Yet 79 million people still lack access to decent toilets across the country. This poses significant risks to […]