Increasing Handwashing Adherence: Lessons from Rigorous Evidence

As COVID-19 cases continue to grow rapidly across the globe and no cure is yet identified, prevention is essential to slow the spread. Frequent handwashing to interrupt transmission of the virus is one of the main recommendations from national health agencies, the World Health Organization, and other experts, but following handwashing guidance is not necessarily possible or easy for everyone, particularly in low-income countries.

Individuals living in areas with limited and unreliable access to piped water and lacking access to soap are not able to wash their hands regularly. As many as 40% of the global population lacks access to basic handwashing facilities. Others may not be aware of the correct handwashing steps to follow or they may not realize that handwashing can prevent the spread of infectious disease. These structural and knowledge barriers are compounded by a misunderstanding about susceptibility, communicability, and the potential severity of COVID-19.

What are the most effective ways to promote and increase handwashing in a low-income setting? What are the structural barriers these individuals face in doing so and what options are currently available to help them mitigate these barriers? Is information about handwashing and COVID-19 prevention trusted and being effectively communicated to vulnerable communities?

Please join Innovations for Poverty Action for a webinar titled “Increasing Handwashing Adherence: Lessons from Rigorous Evidence,” which will cover evidence from rigorous research on increasing uptake of handwashing and on addressing the structural barriers people face that prevent them from washing their hands. Amy Pickering (Tufts University) and Robert Dreibelbis (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) will present and Rachel Steinacher (IPA) will host and moderate.

The presentations will be followed by a discussion and Q&A, where we will cover how the evidence can inform policy, particularly in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Time: 10-11 am EDT

Location: Virtual

Date: Monday, May 11, 2020