The Hand Hygiene for All initiative is necessary to move the world towards the goal of supporting the most vulnerable communities with the means to protect their health and environment. The initiative will support WHO to implement global recommendations on hand hygiene to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic and work to ensure lasting infrastructure and behavior. It will create innovative solutions to fit different contexts, make soap, alcohol based hand rub and hygiene supplies both available and affordable.
Access to hand hygiene in healthcare facilities, schools, public places and home is essential to protect global health and reduce the risk of future outbreaks. Scaling up hand hygiene in all settings could potentially prevent an estimated 165000 deaths from diarrheal diseases each year. Scientific evidence and experience from WHO has also shown that improving health hygiene strategies in health care can reduce health care associated infections.
Hand hygiene is the key to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Adopting strong hand hygiene strategies is the single most effective intervention to prevent diseases and death due to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Hand hygiene also protects against a range of other diseases including common colds, flu, diarrhea and pneumonia. This is also a very cost effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
- Support the implementation of UNICEF’s programmatic work around HH4A, accelerating impact on the ground and bringing positive change to children’s lives.
- Build skills and capacity of youth, equipping them for entry into professional life.
- Enable and empower youth to become agents of change in their communities as well as nationally.
Capacity Building Workshop for Youths
The capacity building training program was conducted for 180 volunteers in 3 groups for building a clear understanding of project plans and activities. The program commenced in Rangpur, Khulna, and Dhaka districts.
The participants were chosen after completing a screening process in which they signed up for the event by filling out a registration form that was circulated on social media. The participants were chosen by JAAGO’s youth wing, Volunteer for Bangladesh, who expressed an interest in working on projects based on the SDG 6 theme.
A 2 days-long residential capacity building training program was arranged for the selected 60 volunteers in a group for building a clear understanding of project plans and activities. The training allowed the youth to understand more on the basic concept of hand hygiene, safety, and WASH protocols. The training consisted of group work and other activities and explored new perspectives of the volunteers on hand hygiene for all initiatives. Designated facilitators conducted the training sessions for all volunteers in their respective groups.
Rangpur: A number of 60 youths including male 39 and female 21 participants, from different districts, came to join the two days long residential training program, who belonged from different age groups. The training was held on 18th and 19th February 2022 in Caspia, the home in Rangpur.
Khulna: The training program in Khulna was conducted in CSS Ava Center on 26th and 27th February 2022. A total of 59 youths, consisting of 45 males and 14 females, took part in the training.
Dhaka: On 20th and 21st March 2022 the training program for capacity building was conducted in BRAC Learning Center, Gulshan, Dhaka. Around 60 youths including 52 males and 8 females participated in the training.
During the training, the participants had intensive learning activities around hand hygiene, the process of hand washing, group work on project designing, budgeting and implementing strategies, and many more. The overall training program had prepared the youth participants for intervening in the community and spreading the knowledge in rural areas of the country.
78 youth volunteers received the refresher workshop in order to recall and reinforce previously learned skills and information by revisiting basic plans and processes and knowledge gaps. The workshop took place on 25th February 2022 through Zoom online platform. During the session, the trainer re-trained and reviewed all of the training topics for the participants.
Behavioral intervention through community mobilization
In order to directly engage the trained youth volunteers with the marginalized community, the courtyard meetings were held. 9 courtyard meetings were conducted by 90 trained volunteers from 25th to 27th March 2022 in the 3 districts of Rangpur, Khulna, and Dhaka. The locations were of the courtyard meetings –
- Dhaka – Dhaka Tangail Gazipur
- Rangpur – Rangpur, Dinajpur, Gaibandha
- Khulna – Khulna, Sharkhira, Kushtia
Each of the 9 meetings was attended by 25 members of the community supported by 10 youth volunteers, totaling 225 participants and 90 volunteers. The main agenda of the courtyard meeting focused on bringing strong behavioral changes among the community members. It accelerated the progress towards hand hygiene and supported the most vulnerable communities to protect their health.
- Necessary knowledge and training provided to 180 youths from three different divisions of Bangladesh – Dhaka, Rangpur, and Khulna.
- 225 community people from Dhaka, Rangpur, and Khulna divisions were informed about hand hygiene protocol.
- Pulling off a behavioral change from the very root level and developing a sustainable hygiene practice.
The youth volunteers were able to learn about the fundamentals of hand hygiene and WASH protocol through the capacity building training. One of the youth volunteers named Arman Hasan, informed us that the training played an important role towards his behavioral change. He mentioned that before the training, even though he had a basic knowledge about hygiene, he wasn’t aware about the steps of hand washing and the different types of waterborne disease. He said, “The training has helped me to understand more clearly about the 6 steps of hand washing, the F- diagram and protect the waterborne diseases and how it affects our health. I am now aware of the importance of the two significant WASH components which are the personal and environmental hygiene. I am confident that I will follow these instructions and will encourage my family and community members to understand the importance of hygiene as well.”