Portable and Inexpensive: Providing access to affordable DYI WASH Kits

The main cause of diarrhea in children and adults is poor hygiene practices, including not washing hands and the use of contaminated water. If not treated, chronic diarrhea can prevent children from getting enough nutrition and can cause stunting in children, especially for children under the age of five.

A field immersion study conducted by Promoting Health Behaviors (PHB) Activity, a USAID-funded project, found that many people do not see the necessity of washing their hands because they look clean. In addition, they said that not seeing dirt or dirty hands means that their hands are clean and germ-free.

To address this problem, the Promoting Healthy Behaviors (PHB) Activity, project, funded by USAID designed a campaign called ”what looks clean might not be safe”.

With support of the Ministry of Rural Development (MRD) and the National Center for Health Promotion (NCHP), local authorities, and relevant government agencies in three target provinces, this campaign was first implemented starting from July 2021 in Tbong Khmum and then expanded to Battambang and Kampong Chhnang in March 2022.

The “What Looks Clean Might Not Be Safe” campaign was designed to change social and behaviors using loudspeakers or microphones to deliver educational messages on water and sanitation. Community education events were also organized which include “infection” games and other fun activities to draw attention to personal hygiene and hand washing with soap at five important times: before cooking, before feeding, before eating, after washing the baby’s buttocks, and after defecating. During the events, program staff also demonstrates how to install handwashing station and safe drinking water storage.