RGHI Fellow Sheilla Simiyu Moderates Conference Session on Sanitation and Hygiene Challenges in Africa

Sheillah Simiyu, a Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute (RGHI) Fellow, is moderating a November 8 session on how to make hygiene and behavior change inclusive and sustainable, at the Africa Sanitation Conference in Swakopmund, Namibia. The session, ST4 S7, takes place at 15:45-17:15 local time.

The November 6-11 Afrisan7 conference is a platform for technical and political dialogue to address sanitation and hygiene challenges in Africa, and to take stock of progress made on sanitation and hygiene-related commitments at various levels. The conference theme is “Strengthening Systems and Partnerships for Accelerated Action on Safely Managed Sanitation and Hygiene.”

At her session, hygiene expert Simiyu, who is a Research Scientist at the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya, will present findings on hand hygiene practices in low-income Kenyan settlements, including how hand hygiene is practiced, obstacles faced, and the motivations behind handwashing with soap.

Also at the session, Phylis Busienei of the African Population and Health Research Center will delve into the inclusivity of hygiene interventions during the COVID-19 period, with a special focus on older individuals and those with disabilities; and Joanna Esteves-Mills of the World Health Organization (WHO) will offer insights into guidelines for sustainable hygiene systems and share key points from WHO’s guideline development group and stakeholder meetings aimed at enhancing hand hygiene practices.

The nonprofit RGHI bridges epidemiology, public health, and behavioral insights in its mission to generate focused research on hygiene and hygienic behaviors while bringing together relevant experts to explore how this research can lead to tangible and meaningful changes. One way that RGHI works toward its mission is by providing funding for fellows and grantees to conduct important scientific research on hygiene.

The upcoming Global Hygiene Symposium in Singapore on December 6-8, 2023, which is hosted by RGHI and the Chatham House, aims to drive innovative solutions in global health and expedite progress in hygiene as a pivotal component of overall well-being and global health security.