Diarrhea and acute respiratory infections account for nearly 30% of deaths among children displaced by humanitarian emergencies. Handwashing with soap reduces the risk of diarrhea and acute respiratory infection in non-emergency settings. However, the practice and the effectiveness of handwashing promotion efforts and the health benefits are not well documented in emergency settings. We conducted key informant interviews with 12 experts working in water, sanitation, and hygiene and examined current approaches, challenges, and knowledge gaps in relation to handwashing promotion in emergency settings. We identified many constraints to implementing effective handwashing promotion efforts including a failure to define objectives and targets for improvements in handwashing rates, lack of technical expertise and attention to the development and implementation of effective behavior change communication approaches, and limited understanding of the appropriateness, use, and acceptability of different handwashing hardware. Respondents identified multiple knowledge gaps and research needs that could improve current efforts. Collaborations between response agencies and research institutions could generate high quality data and facilitate contextualized and potentially more effective and robust handwashing promotion strategies.
Sterile wastewater treatment with vacuum distillation
Hygiene requirements are growing increasingly strict in many sectors, and the treatment of industrial wastewater is no exception. The vacuum distillation process in particular has to deal with the question of sterile treatment and subsequent storage of water obtained from the process. The mere possibility of reintroducing wastewater into the production process makes it imperative to prevent bacterial impurities. The risk of bacterial impurities in industrial wastewater In many industrial production processes,...
Systematic risk management approach of household drinking water from the source to point of use
The water safety plan (WSP) approach is being widely adopted as a systematic approach to improving the safety of drinking water. However, to date, the approach has not been widely used for improving the safety of drinking water in those settings where people have to collect water away from their home. Most rural areas in South Africa still consume unsafe water despite WSP implementation and improved water sources provided by municipalities. This study used hazard analysis critical control point to assess drinking...
Occurrence of Legionella in showers at recreational facilities
Critical environments, including water systems in recreational settings, represent an important source of Legionella pneumophila infection in humans. In order to assess the potential risk for legionellosis, we analyzed Legionella contamination of water distribution systems in 36 recreational facilities equipped with swimming pools. One hundred and sixty water samples were analyzed from shower heads or taps located in locker rooms or in bathrooms. By culture method and polymerase chain reaction, 41/160 samples...
The Importance of Deployable Morgues for Disaster Sites
Natural disasters of all types and intensity carry risk of fatalities. Even minor inclement weather scenarios can have tragic effects and loss of life. Deployable morgues fill a critical need within effective medical care operations at disaster sites. Disaster response planning should always include these systems in order to manage deceased victims respectfully, efficiently, and without putting the health of sick or wounded victims at further risk. Deployable morgues are important at disaster sites to provide...
Things You Should Know about Your Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are everywhere; on office desks, in gym bags, and in kids’ backpacks. And while it’s inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and incredibly convenient to stop by any tap or fountain for a quick refill, there are a few things to remember about these reusable bottles. Actually, there are a few things to remember about microorganisms: many of them love warmth, moisture, solid surfaces, and unfortunately whatever you ate for lunch. This means that your bottle could become a...