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What's New?

May 2001


Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing Initiative in Central America

In Fall 1995, EHP and BASICS began collaboration on a Public-Private Partnership Initiative in Central America. The overall objective of the initiative was to reduce diarrhea morbidity and mortality in children under five through promotion and increased adoption of effective handwashing. The strategy implemented was to work with private-sector partners (primarily soap companies) in order to leverage a modest amount of USAID investment into a long-term, effective communications effort throughout Central America.

The terms of the partnership were established and documented through the formalization of a Task Force comprised of representatives from EHP, BASICS, and four Central American soap companies. Under the initiative, handwashing campaigns were launched in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica using various media, school programs, and community promotion through local markets and through NGOs. Both branded campaigns (endorsing a company product) and generic campaigns were launched.

This partnership activity was developed to serve as an example of how public-private partnerships can work together where areas of self and mutual interest are sufficiently defined, and an effective process is developed and managed to facilitate and sustain the collaboration.

Currently, EHP, BASICS, the World Bank, and UNICEF are collaborating on a summary document describing the development and implementation of this initiative. The documentation is to provide guidance to others for the application of this and similar approaches in other countries; it will be oriented toward those organizations wishing to play a "catalyst" role similar to that played by BASICS and EHP.

For information on the forthcoming publication, please contact Dan Campbell (e-mail: [email protected])

Hygiene Behavior Improvement in Kinshasa Markets

The USAID Mission to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in conjunction with USAID's Regional Urban Development Office (RUDO) in South Africa, is currently implementing an urban environmental health project through the local office of a global NGO, Action Against Hunger. The project�s objective is to improve sanitary conditions and hygiene behavior in public markets in Kinshasa. Project activities focus on improving water supply and sanitation services in the markets and conducting sensitization (i.e., information, education, and communication) campaigns related to food, individual, domestic, and market hygiene.

To determine the project�s health impact, EHP in collaboration with Action Against Hunger is supporting the design and analysis of two studies: a baseline study and an end-of-project impact study. The end-of-project impact study will look at utilization of hygienic latrines; appropriate handwashing (timing and method); incidence of diarrhea during the previous two weeks in children under 5; hygienic conditions of shops and restaurants; and changes in knowledge, attitudes, and practices of vendors and clients related to food, individual, domestic, and market hygiene.

The studies will be carried out in Kinshasa by Action Against Hunger in cooperation with the University of Kinshasa School of Public Health.

For information on the activity, please contact Chris McGahey. (e-mail: [email protected])


Eritrea: National Malaria Control Program Assessment Workshop

Through EHP, USAID/Asmara provides technical assistance to the Eritrea National Malaria Control Program (NMCP). The NMCP held its annual Program Assessment Workshop January 24-27, 2001. The workshop was attended by over 100 participants from the MOH central and zonal staffs and from several other ministries.

At the workshop, EHP staff and consultants presented preliminary results from several studies conducted by the NMCP and EHP over the last 15 months. These studies include the first phase of a national parasite prevalence survey; a national survey to identify the distribution and abundance of anopheline species; longitudinal studies of vector behavior and larval ecology; and clinical trials to determine the efficacy of chloroquine for treatment of uncomplicated malaria. The studies will be completed in April 2001 and final results will be available soon thereafter.

For more information, please contact Gene Brantly. (e-mail: [email protected])

Improving the Early Warning Reporting System in Nepal

The Early Warning Reporting System (EWARS) in Nepal consists of district and zonal hospitals functioning as sentinel sites reporting six priority diseases. The Hetauda Vector- Borne Disease Research and Training Center (VBDRTC) serves as the focal point for the system by receiving and analyzing data from the sentinel hospitals.

With technical assistance from EHP, USAID/Nepal is supporting the Ministry of Health in strengthening and improving the surveillance capacity of the EWARS. A strengthened EWARS will have the following components: (1) an improved district-level EWARS that allows district health teams, VBDRTC, and the MOH/EDCD (Epidemiology and Disease Control Division) to improve disease control operations and respond to outbreaks in a timely manner; and (2) an expanded community-based EWARS in three pilot districts to enable prompt identification and operations at the community level as well as monitor community-based behavior change and care-seeking interventions.

For more information on this activity, please contact Lisa Nichols. (e-mail: [email protected])

Assessing the Feasibility of Developing a Vector-Borne Disease Center in the Bolivian Amazon

Vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and leishmaniasis are major health problems in Bolivia, particularly in the Bolivian Amazon region. Strengthening the national laboratory network is a key element in Escudo Epidemiologico ("Epidemiologic Shield"), a Government of Bolivia priority program.

At the request of the Bolivian Ministry of Health, USAID/Bolivia supported an assessment to determine the feasibility of developing a vector-borne disease center (VBDC) at Guayaramerin to serve Beni and Pando, two regions that make up most of the Bolivian Amazon. EHP consultants were part of the assessment team. The VBDC is envisioned as a regional laboratory for vector-borne diseases and a regional center for training, applied research, and quality control for diagnosis, treatment, and control of these diseases.

For information on the report on the findings from the feasibility assessment, please contact [email protected].

For more information on the activity, please contact Gene Brantly at e-mail: [email protected]

What's New on Other Pages

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Environmental Health Updates:

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Updated Meeting Alert  

Previous Issues of "What's New?"

The main topics or countries discussed are given in parentheses.

March 2001  (Nicaragua, Madagascar, Africa, DDT cost comparison)
January 2001 at EHP (EHP Activities, E-Newsletter, National Malaria Control Programs in 4 African Countries, Congo, Decentralization in Latin America, Peru, WSSCC Forum, Global WS&S Assessment from WHO/UNICEF)
November 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, SANICONN)
September 2000 at EHP (Nepal/Regional, EHP and E-conferences)
July 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, Malaria Vaccine Development, "Water for the World")
May/June 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, International Consultation on Indoor Air Pollution)
April 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, Madagascar, Mozambique)
March 2000 at EHP (Benin, South Africa, Eritrea, Madagascar)
February 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, Paraguay, Ukraine, Mozambique and Eritrea)
January 2000 at EHP (Nicaragua, EHP Lessons Learned)

Previous Issues of "What's New?" by country

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EHP is sponsored by the Office of Health and Nutrition in the Center for Population, Health and Nutrition, Bureau for Global Programs, Field Support and Research of the U.S. Agency for International Development
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Last modified November 25, 2002