Published in: 2020
UN-Water & WHO
UN-Water, World Health Organization (WHO)
Frequent and proper hand hygiene is one of the most important measures that can be used to prevent infection with the COVID-19 virus. Actions by governments to promote hygiene, including handwashing with soap and water and providing hygiene infrastructure such as public handwashing facilities, are critical at this time. These actions should be complemented by activities to ensure access to water and sanitation. To understand how these actions can be strengthened, it is useful to know what countries have already put in place regarding hygiene policies and plans, targets and finance.
Since 2008, WHO, through GLAAS, has monitored elements of national WASH systems including policies and plans,
national targets and budgets and expenditures for WASH. This highlight summarizes hygiene findings from the most recent GLAAS cycle in 2018/2019.
There is no global agreed-upon definition for hygiene, and different countries define hygiene differently. Topics
included under hygiene can range from handwashing to food hygiene to hygiene promotion or infrastructure for
hygiene. Because there is not a single definition, the data presented in this highlight may not always be comparable.
In future GLAAS cycles, WHO will work to develop a more standardized definition of hygiene.
UN-Water, World Health Organization (WHO) (2020). Hygiene - UN-Water GLAAS Findings on National Policies, Plans, Targets and Finance. UN-Water & WHO
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