WSSCC Chair: Sanitation and immunization go hand in hand to safeguard health for all


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  • Machrine Birungi is a communications professional, award winning news reporter, writer, and journalist, with a passion for telling stories that help people make informed decisions. She is currently a social media analyst at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council in Geneva.
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WSSCC Chair: Sanitation and immunization go hand in hand to safeguard health for all

Dear SuSanA colleagues, 

I am delighted to share with you an interview I had with   Ms Hind Khatib-Othman WSSCC Chair. In this Interview, Ms Hind highlights the importance of sanitation and hygiene as a major building block to prevent disease outbreaks and safeguard the “zero-dose” children.

WSSCC: Immunization has been described as an essential ingredient for most SDGs, including SDG 6.2 on sanitation and hygiene. Can you explain the interlinkage between immunization, SDG 6.2 and the “zero-dose” children?

Ms Khatib-Othman: This is true as healthy children and families could mean increased prosperity and healthy lives and well-being, but we should also know that vaccines should be complemented with other important strategies such as access to drinking water and basic sanitation and hygiene. For example, if we look at diarrhoea, we need a combined strategy of vaccines, along with clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to prevent diarrhoeal diseases – a leading cause of child mortality in developing countries. Investments in oral cholera and rotavirus vaccines need to be complemented with equal investments in WASH and health systems to help eliminate diarrhoea.

So, how do you protect that investment, which is critical to saving hundreds of millions of lives of children?

Protecting this investment requires investments in prevention strategies, which is mainly the provision of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene. We have seen the significance of sanitation and hygiene as a critical prerequisite in disease prevention. This was amplified with the spread of COVID-19 across the world. With no treatment or vaccines available for coronavirus, the first message was “wash your hands with soap.” So, these are clear linkages, and we need to make sure that investments are made to improve sanitation and hygiene situation in developing countries.

Follow this Link  to read the full interview 

Share your thoughts and let me know what you think. 

Machrine Birungi, 
Social Media Analyst 
Machrine Birungi
Communications Analyst/ Social media
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