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Water and sanitation for all in a pandemic

10 September 2020

In the spotlight of the current COVID-19 pandemic, researchers explore the challenge of hand hygiene in a changing water world and provide recommendations on how to improve human health and well-being by reducing household water insecurity.

Hand hygiene is critical for reducing transmission of contagious diseases such as Covid-19, but millions of people lack the water necessary for handwashing.

One of the most crucial protective measures against coronavirus is the frequent washing of hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. But for the 40% of households globally who lack access to basic handwashing facilities, this simple directive is not an option. These challenges are not unique to low- and middle-income countries, and many poorer families in high-income nations experience similar water, sanitation, and hygiene problems.

Dr Feng Mao from Cardiff University School of Earth and Environmental Sciences joins researchers from the University of Birmingham and Northwestern University to reflect on the importance of making rapid progress to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all in an article published in Nature Sustainability.

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