Hand hygiene, water quality and sanitation in primary health care facilities and schools not connected to functional water supply systems

Current situation

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are central to the ability to maintain hygienic environments and prevent disease transmission in both health care facilities and schools. Proper and frequent hand hygiene is one of the most important measures that can be taken to prevent the transmission of diarrheal diseases, respiratory diseases and (re-)emerging infections.

In 2019, the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Global Baseline Report estimated that over 45% of primary health care facilities and 50% of schools in LMICs do not have access to handwashing facilities, basic hygiene and water supply systems. Moreover, administrators and staff of health care facilities and schools often lack the capacity and knowledge to manage WASH services adequately. This holds particularly true in a context where functional water supply is lacking, rendering the provision of adequate WASH services intractable.

Our Vision

To join our experiences and efforts to establish a systemic approach to hand hygiene and WASH in primary health care facilities and schools serving the most vulnerable populations.

Target Population

Off-grid schools and health care facilities with poor WASH services, located in conflict-affected areas, refugee and internally displaced camps, informal settlements and remote rural areas.

10 Partners

NGOs, academia and private sector entities

8 Work Packages

Four-year project timeline: 2021-2024

4 Countries

Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Palestine

Latest news

Consortium partners


The hands4health initiative is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), through a project and programme contribution of CHF 4’700’000. More information is available here.