Hands4health Hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation in primary health care facilities and schools not connected to a functional water supply system
Current technologies and approaches to improve water, sanitation and hygiene are fragmented. Hands4health focuses on the development, testing, evaluation and scaling up of new water efficient hand washing technologies as well as on a holistic approach to hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation. To leave no one behind, the project works in primary health care facilities and schools not connected to a functional water supply system in in four target countries and beyond.
Sector not specified
- Swiss Private Sector
- Swiss Universities or FHS
Proper and frequent hand hygiene is one of the most important measures that can be taken to prevent the transmission of diseases and infections. The primary health care level plays a crucial role in the prevention and management of high impact communicable diseases as currently demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff, patients and attendants in primary health care facilities, as well as children and teachers at schools are particularly vulnerable to disease transmission.
The current technologies and approaches to improve hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation in primary health care and schools are fragmented and therefore insufficiently address the complexity of the problem. Improved technological solutions and new infrastructure are often made with limited supporting measures targeting long term behaviour change of the users. Another challenge is that new infrastructures are designed not sufficiently taking into account the needs and the acceptance of different target groups. The consequences are that interventions in hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation have limited impact on end users’ well-being and health.
The 11 members of the hands4health Consortium are keen to develop, test and scientifically evaluate new water efficient hand washing technologies as well as a holistic approach to hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation.
The project will target primary health care facilities and schools not connected to a functional water supply system. The target areas suffer from water scarcity (Mali and Burkina Faso, occupied Palestinian territory (OPT)), water quality (OPT) and lack of access or an overuse of ground water (Nigeria). Improving water use efficiency is key for all target areas. In order for the water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to be affordable, their cost efficiency needs to be improved.
A) Increased water use efficiency in health care facilities and schools and increased cost efficiency at institutional level ensure the sustainability of services.
B) Improved health for staff, patients and visitors of health care facilities, as well as for staff and children in schools.
97,000 beneficiaries from health care facilities and/or schools in the four countries (targets are 60% adults/children40%, 60% women/40% men)
The schools and health care facilities lie in conflict affected areas, refugee and internally displaced population camps, informal settlements and remote rural areas in the four target countries.
1. Newly installed infrastructure based on resource efficient technologies (i.e. reduced water use, costs, maintenance requirements, improved monitoring) are used in at least 80 health care facilities and/or schools.
2. Safe and frequent hand hygiene behaviour norms are followed by all user groups including children, school and health care staff, patients and attendants. Target: 97,000 beneficiaries (adults/children 60%/40%, men/women 40%/60%).
3. A holistic approach to gender-responsive hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation interventions in health care facilities and schools is adopted and used by at least 10 international implementing organizations. Tools, experiences and learning are shared over open platforms by at least 20 organisations (including large international NGOs).
1. The catalogue of the technologies, design options,
2. Local production of selected infrastructure elements
3. Population tailored and data driven behaviour change
4. The holistic approach to water, sanitation and
5. Empirical evidence on the health impact of the
6. The holistic approach to water sanitation and
Results from previous phases: The project builds on the technical and social innovations developed by the Consortium members. The need for the development of a holistic approach to hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation interventions in primary health care facilities and schools has been discussed during annual meetings of the water and sanitation community in Switzerland and has been the igniting moment to decide to present this initiative in the TRANSFORM call for proposal.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
Coordination with the Focal Point Water, with the West Africa Division, the Asia Division, the Global Programme Climate Change, the Middle East and Northern Africa Division and the Humanitarian Aid. Diffusion of research results through the RésEau.
The project will be coordinated with key strategic actors and initiatives, for example with the Ministries of Health and the Ministries of Education in the target countries, the International Rural Water Supply Network, the Global WASH Cluster, and the International Red Cross Committee and Oxfam.
The project is implemented with the local health authorities, local water authorities and local education authorities, the management of health care facilities and schools, and the organisations of the regional WASH clusters.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 4’700’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 1’285’560|