RAPID ASSESSMENT ON EFFECTIVENESS OF HAND-WASHING PROMOTION DURING COVID-19 WITH FOCUS ON MARGINALIZED POPULATIONS IN SELECTED AREAS OF NEPAL
At this time of COVID-19 pandemic, MITRA Samaj is implementing WaterAid Nepal-supported ‘Rapid Assessment on Effectiveness of Hand-washing Promotion during Covid-19 with focus on marginalized populations in selected areas of Nepal’. The rapid assessment is being conducted in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
Hand-washing with soap is one of the critical behaviours being promoted to reduce the risk of transmission during the Covid-19 pandemic. Although this has always been an essential component of hygiene behaviour change work, the pandemic has triggered renewed global attention on hand-washing – both at home and when people are outside in public places. Thus, hand-washing with soap is being promoted on a huge scale through mass/social media campaigns and other channels; and governments and donors have begun supporting the installation of hand-washing facilities on a scale previously unseen. However,there is a lack of real-time information on how messages are received and understood by different groups, what factors may be driving behaviour change, and what barriers may prevent good hand hygiene being adopted in different contexts. Thus, MITRA Samaj is implementing the rapid assessment under the support of WaterAid Nepal.
This information is critical as the efficacy and sustainability of good hand hygiene will have a major impact on how well the first wave of Covid-19 transmission is contained and the resilience in preparing for future waves of this pandemic (and other diseases). WaterAid wants to use the current momentum in hand-washing with soap and increase in facilities toradically change practice and access, so that routine hand-washing at home and away becomes the new norm.
The purpose of the rapid assessment is to understand how poor, marginalised and vulnerable groups are receiving and understanding the messages on hand-washing and what factors and barriers are driving behaviour change and preventing good hygiene respectively.