As part of the Hygiene & Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC), funded by Unilever and UK's Department for International Development (DFID), IRC Burkina has since August 2020, implemented a mass media campaign to promote proper hygiene: Mains Propres, Bonne Santé (Clean Hands, Good Health). The focus is awareness raising of handwashing with soap as a protection against COVID-19, ensuring the mainly rural population also profit from government-led WASH-related responses.
The campaign targeted two regions (Ouagadougou and Banfora, 3.6 million people), with a massive hygiene promotion campaign to achieve the overarching outcome of increased practice of hand hygiene and surface hygiene at key moments.
COVID-19 is an opportunity to implement a massive hygiene promotion campaign; to curb the pandemic and address the various other hygiene-related diseases and driving long-lasting behaviour change. The project aims to use IRC's networks and broad knowledge to rapidly and effectively deliver hand hygiene and surface hygiene messaging.
In Burkina Faso, 88% of the population live without basic hygiene whilst 62% of all deaths in Africa are caused by infectious diseases. Inadequate sanitary conditions and poor hygiene practices play major roles in the communicable disease burden of countries in Africa. Handwashing with soap and good surface hygiene are a cost-effective way of reducing the infectious disease burden. Handwashing with soap is rarely practiced while it could effectively interrupt transmission of disease, e.g. after toilet visits and before handling food. With COVID-19, hand and surface hygiene are recommended after any of risk contact with the virus.
Handwashing is a ritualised behaviour mainly performed for self-protection. Interventions that provoke discomfort or disgust or use social marketing may be most effective. Using Behaviour Centred Design we will influence people to increase hand as well as surface hygiene.
The 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 COVID-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.