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The Status of Hand Hygiene Facilities in Public Spaces in South Asia

N. Klaesener-Metzner, P. van Maanen, S. Cavill (2022)

Published in: 2022
Pages: 12


N. Klaesener-Metzner, P. van Maanen, S. Cavill

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Access to adequate hand hygiene facilities (HHFs), including a reliable supply of water and soap, is
paramount to ensure that daily hand hygiene can be practiced in public places. With COVID-19, public
spaces have become an important location for the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector to
engage in when it comes to key moments for hand hygiene. However, the nature of public places means
that clear ownership for the functionality of public hand hygiene facilities can be a challenge, one that
requires new partnerships with line ministries (such as transportation) and urban councils, as well as new
monitoring tools.
This fact sheet reports the findings of an online survey among WASH sector professionals in South Asia
to gain insight into the state of hand hygiene facilities deployed in public spaces in response to the
COVID-19 outbreak. The survey was completed by 193 people working in the WASH sector in six South
Asian countries. Three insights from this survey stand out:
• A large share of the facilities is not fully functional within a year of installation.
• Providing access to disadvantaged groups is a major challenge.
• The monitoring of hand hygiene facilities in public places is non-existent or piecemeal.
The results from this survey are the first step towards understanding the nature of hand hygiene in public
places in South Asia. The success of recent efforts to provide facilities for hand hygiene is encouraging,
though further research and attention to the enabling environment is needed in the region to ensure
sustainability of the facilities and their use. Further questions remain on how best to promote hand
hygiene in public places and how to ensure functionality and monitoring.

Bibliographic information

N. Klaesener-Metzner, P. van Maanen, S. Cavill (2022). The Status of Hand Hygiene Facilities in Public Spaces in South Asia. UNICEF

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