A new #OpenAccess paper has been published in the Journal of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development and in the Journal of Water & Health entitled COVID-19: urgent actions, critical reflections and future relevance of ‘WaSH’: lessons for the current and future pandemics.
Guy Howard, Jamie Bartram, Clarissa Brocklehurst, John M. Colford, Jr, Federico Costa, David Cunliffe, Robert Dreibelbis, Joseph Neil Spindel Eisenberg, Barbara Evans, Rosina Girones, Steve Hrudey, Juliet Willetts and Caradee Y. Wright
Guy Howard (Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development) and Jamie Bartram (Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Water & Health) commented the following:
'These papers demonstrate the central role of water and hygiene in responses to pandemics and to improve preparedness for future pandemics. But as the world’s public health community have urged more frequent handwashing and to maintain physical distancing, many countries have had to confront the reality that for many of their people these are practical impossibilities as they do not have water at their homes and must share water sources with many other (often hundreds) of people and cannot access sufficient water to practice good hygiene. The paper notes that is this is a failure in public policy. The authors call for urgent re-prioritisation for investing in WaSH and an upgrading of the SDG target 6.1 to ensure universal access to piped water at the home. The authors note that the current paradigms for hygiene behaviour promotion that are based around preventing diarrhoea in very young children are not fit for purpose when faced with the different frequency, critical times and vulnerable groups that dealing with an infectious respiratory disease demand. There is an urgent need to invest improved hygiene education in WASH so that it can provide leadership in tackling pandemics. The two papers highlight the importance of investing in public services in public places, including addressing the scandal of healthcare facilities without piped water and adequate hygiene. The authors note this is all possible, but requires increased investment by governments and the international community.'
Explore other COVID-19 related resources from IWA Publishing here.
Explore the Journal of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene for Development here.
Explore the Journal of Water & Health here.