Skip to main content

Published on: 14/10/2020

Handwashing with soap is key to the prevention of disease. It is also one of the simplest and most significant public health interventions. And since August 2020, the schools, radios, TVs and events in Burkina Faso have increasingly been singing and dancing to the tune of clean hands.

One ambitious target

Earlier this year, as part of the Hygiene & Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC), IRC Burkina launched a mass media campaign to promote handwashing with soap at critical times: Mains Propres, Bonne Santé (Clean Hands, Good Health).

The goal is clear: to change behaviours and improve wellbeing by explaining and convincing people why, when and how to wash hands. The campaign set its eyes on capital Ouagadougou together with partner district, Banfora for a collective reach of 3.6 million people.

A collaborative effort

Mains Propres, Bonne Santé has worked closely with goodwill ambassadors, schools and religion facilitators and teachers all around the city and district. Together, they were able to bring rich multi-media content to schools, live events, radios, city streets and even to religious communities—where possible also tailoring to local languages.

The reach was far and wide: 700 radios ads, 138 TV public service announcements, 23 primary school events, 150 billboards spread throughout the city of Ouagadougou, to name a few. The summary video below captures both the energy as well as the multitude of activities led by the campaign.

What's next

Mains Propres, Bonne Santé has been a success but aims to build the momentum and expand its reach. It will continue to engage with schools, faith communities and seek new opportunities to connect and have its ambitions resonate with new audiences.

The year's efforts will be further reinforced with the upcoming Global Handwashing Day 2020, Thursday, 15 October 2020. As part of the commemoration of the international day, IRC will be organising an event for schools and the general public. The event aims to reaffirm the message of the campaign and amplify it more broadly. The live event will include activities, performances and a distribution of handwashing kits together with the Ministry of Culture and Media. More information on this in French, here.

Stay up to date on the campaign

For additional information, videos and pictures on the campaign and its activities, follow Mains Propres, Bonne Santé on Facebook.

Promoting hand hygiene for all, beyond Burkina Faso

Around the world, similar efforts are being made to promote and advance good hygiene behaviours, especially ahead of Global Handwashing Day.

In Uganda, the Ministry of Water and Environment will be hosting a national celebration of Global Handwashing Day 2020. Linked to the international day, the government will be hosting a series of events to engage policy makers, development partners and civil society organisations to prioritise good hygiene. IRC's country director, Jane Nabunnya will be discussing handwashing on Next Radio 106.1.

In India, a series of webinars have centred around hygiene, tackling the following topics:

  1. Handwashing with soap: technologies and innovations - Monday 12 October
  2. Hand hygiene for all: creating lasting handwashing habits - Wednesday 14 October
  3. Framework and Indicators to measure Hand Hygiene

In Ghana, IRC has been actively supporting the National Global Handwashing Day event planning committee, led by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, in the messaging and media outreach efforts.

In Ethiopia, IRC will represent at the Hand Hygiene – high level advocacy workshop, organised by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF and emphasise the importance of strong water and sanitation systems as a condition.


About HBCC

Hygiene & Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC) programme was set up by Unilever and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) as part of the rapid response to contain and limit the spread of COVID-19. The programme represents a £100 million contribution to the UK's response to tackling COVIDd-19 in low and middle income countries. The HBCC takes a three-pronged approach, building on Unilever's tried and tested hygiene interventions: mass communications, behaviour change programmes and digital solutions, focused on hand hygiene and environmental hygiene. IRC Burkina has been tasked with leading the delivery of the HBCC programme in Burkina Faso.

HBCC, UKaid, Unilever and IRC logos

Back to
the top