2 in 5 colleges all over the world lacked primary handwashing amenities previous to COVID-19 pandemic — UNICEF, WHO

As colleges worldwide wrestle with reopening, the most recent information from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) reveal that 43 per cent of faculties all over the world lacked entry to primary handwashing with cleaning soap and water in 2019 – a key situation for colleges to have the ability to function safely within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Global school closures since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic have presented an unprecedented challenge to children’s education and wellbeing,” stated Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “We must prioritize children’s learning. This means making sure that schools are safe to reopen – including with access to hand hygiene, clean drinking water and safe sanitation.” 

According to the report, round 818 million youngsters lack primary handwashing amenities at their colleges, which places them at elevated danger of COVID-19 and different transmittable ailments. More than one third of those youngsters (295 million) are from sub-Saharan Africa. In the least developed international locations, 7 out of 10 colleges lack primary handwashing amenities and half of faculties lack primary sanitation and water companies.

The report stresses that governments looking for to manage the unfold of COVID-19 should stability the necessity for implementation of public well being measures versus the related social and financial impacts of lockdown measures. Evidence of the unfavourable impacts of extended faculty closures on youngsters’s security, wellbeing and studying are well-documented, the report says.

“Access to water, sanitation and hygiene services is essential for effective infection prevention and control in all settings, including schools,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “It must be a major focus of government strategies for the safe reopening and operation of schools during the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.”

Other key findings from the report embrace:

  • Of the 818 million youngsters who lacked a primary handwashing service at their faculty, 355 million went to varsities which had amenities with water however no cleaning soap, and 462 million to varsities which had no amenities or water accessible for handwashing.
  • In the 60 international locations at highest danger of well being and humanitarian crises as a result of COVID-19, three in four youngsters lacked primary handwashing service at their faculty firstly of the outbreak; half of all youngsters lacked primary water service; and greater than half lacked primary sanitation service.
  • 1 in three colleges worldwide had both restricted consuming water service or no consuming water service in any respect.
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  • 698 million youngsters lacked primary sanitation service at their faculty. 

The report identifies a number of assets mandatory for COVID-19 prevention and management in colleges, together with 10 speedy actions and security checklists. It builds on guidelines on the safe reopening of schools issued by UNESCO, UNICEF, WFP and the World Bank with sensible recommendation for nationwide and native authorities on learn how to put together for protected faculty reopening and preserve youngsters protected after they return to highschool. The pointers embrace a number of WASH-related protocols on hygiene measures, use of non-public protecting gear, cleansing and disinfection, in addition to offering entry to scrub water, handwashing stations with cleaning soap, and protected bathrooms.

UNICEF and WHO are dedicated to attaining equitable entry to satisfactory WASH companies worldwide. The businesses lately launched a joint initiative, Hand Hygiene for All, to help essentially the most susceptible communities with the means to guard their well being and atmosphere. It brings collectively worldwide companions, nationwide governments, private and non-private sectors, and civil society to make sure inexpensive services can be found, particularly in deprived areas.


For additional data, please contact:

Sara Alhattab, UNICEF Headquarters (figuring out of Jordan), Tel: +962 7 80180363, salhattab@unicef.org
WHO Media Enquiries: Tel: +41 22 791 2222, mediainquiries@who.int


UNICEF works in a number of the world’s hardest locations, to achieve the world’s most deprived youngsters. Across greater than 190 international locations and territories, we work for each baby, in all places, to construct a greater world for everybody.

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About WHO

The World Health Organization directs and coordinates worldwide well being throughout the United Nations system. Working with its 194 Member States, WHO’s mission is to advertise well being, preserve the world protected and serve the susceptible.

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About the Joint Monitoring Programme

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene is chargeable for monitoring international progress in direction of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets and indicators relating consuming water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The JMP produces nationwide, regional and international estimates of progress on WASH in households, colleges and well being care amenities.