Hand-washing campaigns: Hand-washing in Zimbabwe

Progetto concluso

Diarrhea remains a common cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa and is the second most common cause of infant deaths worldwide. Hand washing is known to be one of the most effective and cost-efficient tools to reduce the disease. The objective of this second phase is to promote awareness and positively influence hand-washing with soap at critical times among target groups, children and caretakers, in urban Zimbabwe. The campaign will make use of new technologies and will test a newly developed mobile app in behavioral change education.

Paese/Regione Tema Periodo Budget
Africa meridionale e orientale
Acqua potabile e strutture igieniche elementari (WASH) (til 2016)
Malattie infettive
01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017
CHF  1’650’000

Diarrhea kills 2,195 children every day, which is more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Sub-Saharan Africa is especially concerned. Hands are the main vector for the transmission of viral, bacterial and parasitic diarrheal pathogens. There is substantial evidence that hand hygiene reduces the incidence of infections. This second phase will build on lessons learnt from the India campaign. It starts with a proper scientific analysis of behavioural change patterns ensuring that the campaign will be tailored to the cultural and social context. The campaign targets urban/semi-urban and rural areas in order to collect experience in designing hand-washing campaigns in different settings. To succeed in changing behaviour regarding hand-washing, the message needs to be repeated over time until it becomes a habit. Habits are often developed during childhood or at life-changing moments as for example the birth of a child. Schools, where children can be reached and health centers, where mothers will be addressed through midwives, are therefore identified as main intervention area for the campaign. Through policy dialogue commitment and political will of decision makers for hand-washing with soap will be increased with the end goal of making it part of the national Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)/Health strategy.


Increase awareness of and promote innovative technologies to improve the practice of hand-washing with soap at critical times among target audience and policy makers in Zimbabwe and disseminate results among international actors in the WASH sector.

Gruppi target
  1. Low income populations, concentrating on children and caretakers
  2. Populations in urban Zimbabwe
  3. Decision makers, ministries of water/health
Effetti a medio termine
  • Sustainable hand-washing practice among school children, care-takers and secondary audience
  • Increased media coverage regarding hand-washing with soap and innovative hand-washing technology and therewith improved awareness
  • Inclusion into national WASH/Health strategy due to increased interest, commitment and political will of decision makers for hand-washing with soap in the intervention countries
  • International WASH platforms are used for sharing good practices regarding innovative hand-washing technologies in view of up-scaling and use by other actors



Risultati fasi precedenti:  

Lessons learnt from India Hand-washing campaign phase I:

  • The most important target group should be mothers and caregivers since they are the ones who take care of small children who are most vulnerable to morbidity and mortality from diarrhea.
  • The campaign should be restricted to a few interactive games with a focus on the relevant behavioural determinants for hand-washing with soap.
  • Ensuring the presence and maintenance of the necessary sanitary facilities in schools is of paramount importance. This should be the responsibility of adults. Failure to implement and maintain this responsibility will result in very little to no change in the current situation of hand-washing with soap as well as in the use of toilets.

Direzione/Ufficio responsabile DSC
Credito Cooperazione allo sviluppo
Partner del progetto Partner contrattuale
ONG internazionale o straniera
Instituzione statale straniera
Instituzione universitaria e di ricerca svizzera
  • Central State of South East
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • SDC Field Office
  • University of Lugano, ministries of water/health

Budget Fase in corso Budget Svizzera CHF    1’650’000 Budget svizzero attualmente già speso CHF    1’426’997
Fasi del progetto

Fase 2 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)

Fase 1 01.04.2012 - 30.06.2014   (Completed)