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November 18, 2020 at 8:50 pm #4796Health Through Housing AdminKeymaster
The “golden rule” specified by the World Health Organization for COVID-19 prevention is for people to wash their hands often, with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub. Yet, in Bangladesh, 107 million people have little or no access to hygiene facilities at home (JMP, 2017). In combination with increasing unemployment due to the pandemic, disrupted food supply chains, and catastrophic flooding, families are incapable of obtaining soap and following even the most fundamental “golden rule”.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, ARCHIVE Global has prototyped durable hand washing stations that operate by using foot pedals for the water flow and soap dispenser. In partnership with the Association of Development for Economic and Social Help (ADESH), a Bangladeshi non-profit community organization, ARCHIVE Global plans to install 40 stations in high-trafficked areas in Savar, Bangladesh to help increase rates of accurate hand washing practice, with a goal to wash over one million hands every year.
The project aims to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases long term. Additional benefits include providing a safer environment for those returning to jobs at markets, schools, and other high-traffic areas, as well as providing jobs to skilled technicians, laborers, and community champions that will be trained in hand hygiene practices and maintaining the stations.
While the COVID-19 pandemic brings heightened attention to hand hygiene right now, these durable hand washing stations and the accompanying training will have a valuable impact on this community. According to the CDC, hand washing prevents about 30% of diarrhea-related illnesses and about 20% of respiratory infections. The 40 stations will be permanent infrastructure in their high-traffic locations and they will continue to serve the community well beyond COVID-19.
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