Large-scale Hygiene Behaviour Change Initiative Goes Live in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania

July 29, 2022

Nairobi, 28th July 2022.

A Hygiene and Behaviour Change COVID-19 initiative that reached over 32 million people in 2020-2021 has re-launched. Amidst an increase in COVID-19 infections in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, key stakeholders from the Amref Health Africa and the National Business Compact on Coronavirus (NBCC) partnership have unveiled a refreshed behaviour change initiative. Targeting 75 million people in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania by April 2023, this aims to influence the adoption of hygiene behaviours to help protect lives and livelihoods from COVID-19.

Amref-NBCC are activating as part of the global Hygiene and Behavior Change Coalition 2 (HBCC 2) funded by Unilever and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

In a statement shared to media houses8, Amref Health Africa CEO Dr. Gitahi Githinji noted that the key messages driven during HBCC 1 on masking up, handwashing and social distancing positively affected health metrics in the targeted communities. He added, “while our initial agenda was to slow the pandemic spread, together with our partners we were able to develop tools and identify new touch-points that helped us accrue multiple benefits that today demand reinforcement to avoid regression and erosion of gains made.”

Health CAS Dr. Ann Mwangangi celebrated the coalition partners, terming their efforts as a true manifestation of humanity. She added that the, “selfless giving of time, resources and knowhow by the coalition partners not only complemented government efforts but it introduced non-traditional partners into the health conversation.” She noted that the use of influencers, youth, digital platforms, puppets, campaign slogans and more not only refreshed the conversation but infused new and productive approaches that had not previously been thought of.

Noting the increased infection numbers in East Africa and ongoing vaccination drives, Dr. Mwangangi added that it is important that we do not declare victory against COVID-19 yet. She highlighted that complacency would make us lose momentum on the progress achieved through initiatives like HBCC 1. She added that with discipline and collective intent, we can raise the bar on our basic health standards and overall wellness.

Amref-NBCC’s activations as part of HBCC 2 will incorporate a number of old and new partners to amplify and cement the achievements of HBCC 1.

NBCC secretariat Chair and Brands on a Mission founder Prof. Myriam Sidibe articulated the efforts of Amref-NBCC in the earlier  (HBCC 1) to sustainably improve preventative hygiene practices, thus protecting lives and livelihoods in the first year of the pandemic. Prof. Sidibe highlighted that the observation of key hygiene practices, including regular handwashing with soap, mask wearing and social distancing, significantly reduced incidences of hospitalisation for respiratory and hygiene-based diseases. This improvement of the general health of our communities also helped reduce strain on already overstretched medical services, particularly during the first year of the pandemic.

Going regional in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, HBCC 2 targets 75 million people with the intention of driving public awareness and long-term be4haviour change related to hygiene and COVID-19, including vaccinations, amongst the targeted communities. The campaign also aims at improving access to hygiene products and handwashing facilities by delivering WASH facilities to 375 healthcare facilities. It will also strengthen health systems through advocacy and the training of 10,100 Community Health Workers (CHWs) and staff while also placing great emphasis on reaching the most vulnerable populations, including people with disabilities, mothers, children and young people. Importantly, it intends to create sustainable change, ensuring that knowledge, infrastructure and capacity is built into communities in the long-term.

To date, over 30 organisations have partnered with Amref-NBCC, ranging from digital media agencies to social businesses, community organisations, retail companies, funding partners, and more. All are aligned with the core goals, with each one bringing something different to the mission of refreshing public commitment to hygiene and self-protective social behaviours.

#HBCC , #HealthForAll # CleanHandsForAll #COVID


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