Rapid topic review: how WASH programming has adapted to the pandemic


  • awebbslh
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Rapid topic review: how WASH programming has adapted to the pandemic

Hi everyone, 

Sharing our latest rapid topic review by Joseph Thompson (consultant).

Thanks to all who took part in interviews for this piece of work! Let us know if you have any reflections or feedback on the review. 


Best wishes, 

Alice Webb
Digital Knowledge Coordinator
The Sanitation Learning Hub at the Institute of Development Studies
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  • Chaiwe
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  • Independent consultant (strategic planning, project management and M&E in WASH, climate action and, gender and HIV) and Part-time Solid Waste Management Lecturer at the University of Zambia.
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Re: Rapid topic review: how WASH programming has adapted to the pandemic

Dear Alice,

Thank you for sharing the review. It is indeed the case that many countries have taken a keen interest in finding measures of fighting the virus and just as the review highlighted the importance of hand hygiene being one of the main ways of prevention. Practicing good hand hygiene and ensuring WASH services are available is necessary for both undeveloped and developed countries within formal and informal communities.

In order to create long-lasting plans in response to the virus, a holistic approach and collective hygiene responses are needed that will include a change in behaviour and practical action from relevant authorities and stakeholders to build strong water and sanitation systems that will withstand future shocks. This is true across different levels down from the grassroots, which reminds me of a post that was shared on the forum about children as WASH and COVID-19 ambassadors and role models in schools at Kachele Trust School in Lusaka Zambia. It was highlighted the unique role that schools and children play in COVID prevention and response.  See Here

Also just recently, similar experiences have been discussed on the forum highlighting and validating some of the outcomes of the rapid topic review. See Here   'Covid 19 and Sanitation Responses by Countries in the Global South.'

SuSanA Forum Moderator
(With financial support from WSSCC (now SHF))

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
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Re: Rapid topic review: how WASH programming has adapted to the pandemic

Since it first appeared at the end of 2019, the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread at a speed and scale not seen before. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. There was a call for a rapid response and actors around the world quickly worked to develop preventive measures to curb the disease. One route of infection that was detected early in the crisis was through surfaces and objects (fomites).To combat this, hand hygiene was introduced as a key preventive measure and proclaimed as "the first line of defense against the disease". What followed was an unprecedented international emphasis on hand washing with soap. Health messages about the spread of germs, important times for hand washing and methods for proper hand washing were shared (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2020). Political leaders around the world encouraged handwashing and encouraged people to adopt the method of protection against coronary heart disease.

The primary effects of COVID-19 have affected people and industries in a variety of ways. For the laundry sector, the central concentration of hand washing in response to a pandemic has led to a sudden increase in hygiene. This SLH Rapid Topic Review assesses some of the cross-policy challenges facing the sector during this period and examines the adjustments that have been made in response. It then looks ahead, thinks about what lies ahead for the discipline and ponders the study priorities for the next steps.
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