Hygiene And Handwashing

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The Hygiene Centre's specialist area of research is domestic and personal hygiene. Researchers at the Hygiene Centre have been developing evidence of the effectiveness of hand washing with soap against diarrhoeal diseases since 1995.

The importance of hand washing with soap was demonstrated in a 2003 systematic review on hand washing and diarrhoea, in which Curtis and Cairncross found that community hand washing interventions reduced the risk of contracting diarrhoea by 47%. The Hygiene Centre is currently testing the hypothesis that the transmission of acute respiratory infections is also prevented by frequent hand washing. Acute respiratory infections are

The Hygiene Centre is also known for its research on how to change and sustain hygiene behaviour related to hand washing. Researchers in the Centre have become expert in developing and testing ways in which hand washing can be successfully promoted on a large scale.Current Projects


Studies on the effectiveness of hand washing with soap against respiratory infections in India and the UK

The Global Public-Private Partnership to Promote Hand washing with Soap

Developing tools for child-focused hygiene promotion in school.


Earth Beat - Squeaky Clean

We get a little bit dirty, but in a good way. Getting rid of dirt and being clean is seen as a good thing. But what happens when we take clean to the extreme? Plus, why it could pay not to apply the elbow grease.

Listen to Val Curtis in the Earth Beat pod cast from Radio Netherlands Worldwide by clicking here.


Key Researchers

Val Curtis
Sandy Cairncross
Adam Biran
Beth Scott
Myriam Sidibe

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