Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for the prevention and care of NTDs

Published on June 27, 2019   36 min

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Hi everyone, my name is Yael Velleman, I'm the Head of Partnerships at the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. Today, I'll be talking to you about water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for NTDs prevention and care.
What I'll try and cover in this presentation is to first introduce the basic concepts around water, sanitation, and hygiene. I'll then outline the link between these aspects: WASH, health, and specifically, the link with neglected tropical diseases, and then I'll set out to describe how this link is currently being addressed in policy and programming.
Before we start to talk about what is potentially a very broad topic, it's important to define what we actually mean when we talk about water, sanitation, and hygiene as a public health intervention. In terms of water, when we talk about WASH, we normally talk about increasing access to a water supply for drinking and other domestic purposes, and we also refer to improving drinking water quality. What this doesn't usually encompass are aspects such as big water, which is all about increasing access to larger quantities of water for non-domestic purposes, such as dams and reservoirs or other aspects such as factory production, irrigation and so on. So, really focusing on households and people and the access that they have to drinking water and water for bathing, cooking, laundry, etc. In terms of sanitation, what we normally refer to is access to and use of facilities and services- the safe disposal of human excreta; so, we're talking about human urine and feces, but not usually other types of wastes such as domestic waste. Importantly, when we talk about sanitation, we're not just referring to toilets; so, if we go by the WHO definition of a safe sanitation system- this is a system designed and used to separate human excreta from human contact at all steps of the sanitation service chain. So, not just the toilet, but also capturing and containing excreta, emptying it, transporting it, treating it, and finally disposing it or creating a form of that excreta that can be used for things, for example like agricultural purposes. Then, finally, hygiene is quite a broad concept, and it usually refers to conditions and practices that maintain health and prevent disease. However, in the WASH sector, the sector that usually deals with improving access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in low-income settings, hygiene usually tends to focus on maintaining personal cleanliness, and often, very narrowly on, basically, washing hands with soap at critical times.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for the prevention and care of NTDs

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