Update | NNN Statement of Commitment to Hand Hygiene For All 2021


October 2021

The populations at most risk from Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are often the same groups who lack access to hygiene resources. In fact, the presence of NTDs is often an indicator of the need to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the cogent need for improved investment in hygiene and placed importance on its role in overall health as well as the sustainable control and elimination of all NTDs. Hygiene plays a vital role in the prevention, treatment, care and morbidity management of these conditions.

To commemorate Global Handwashing Day in 2020, NNN made a commitment to support the attainment of hand hygiene for all through three focal areas; fostering cross-sectoral political leadership, creating enabling environment, and promoting sustainable and inclusive programming at scale.

One year after this commitment was made, what is the score card? This Global Handwashing Day we reflect on these commitments and share how much progress has been made in keeping these commitments.

Political leadership

Support WHO’s 2015-2020 global strategy on WASH and NTDs—which is being updated in line with the NTD 2030 road map— to ensure this cross-cutting target is met:.

The NNN supported the development of a new Global Strategy on WASH and NTDs to deliver the cross-cutting pillar, including a strong focus on hygiene and behaviour change overall, mainstreamed into all strategy actions.

Support countries to develop and implement cross-sectoral policies, budgets, and coordination mechanisms at the national and local levels.

The NNN supported the development of national frameworks on WASH and NTDs coordination in Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique and Kenya, as well as national behaviour change strategies. NNN members have also supported several country-driven hygiene initiatives as part of COVID response efforts.

Enabling environment

Share experiences and best practices for WASH and NTD coordination through publications and conferences

The NNN co-organised a special session on Hand Hygiene for All at the ISNTD Connect held on 10 December 2020, with panellists from UNICEF and the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health. The annual NNN conference also included a consultation on the development of a monitoring framework for the WASH and NTDs strategy and several case studies and blogs were published on WASH and hygiene on the NNN website and promoted on its social media channels. NNN also supported the launch activities for the Global Strategy on WASH and NTDs.

Support the uptake and development of tools for enhancing cross-sector collaboration to bridge challenges such as differences in objectives and priorities, indicators and budgetary and capacity constraints

The NNN supported a learning series on the WASH and NTDs toolkit for programme staff in East Africa (6 virtual 2-hour workshops organised through the Ascend East programme), as well as the development of an online learning course on WASH and NTDs organised by PAHO for programme staff in several countries in the region of the Americas.

Sustainable, inclusive programming at scale

Develop a technical resource on behaviour change

NNN is in the final stages of developing a new guiding document on behaviour change for NTD control and elimination. The existing toolkit on WASH and NTDs will be updated to include a broader range of sectors and behaviours, including aspects related to vector management and One Health.

Work with WHO and other stakeholders to develop a research agenda that investigates the determinants of healthy behavioural practices and approaches to sustaining change.

Preliminary engagements have been held with WHO in relation to this priority area. Full implementation will commence in line with WHO timelines on the NTD Research & Development Blueprint.