Virtual event

USAID-NISHTHA with Unilever Host Virtual Event on WASH Matters Now More Than Ever: Prioriting Hygiene for Building Resilient Health Systems and Communities

New Delhi [India], April 6 (ANI/BusinessWire India): USAID’s flagship health system strengthening project, NISHTHA, implemented by Jhpiego in partnership with Unilever, hosted a collaborative virtual event “WASH Matters Now More than Ever: Prioritizing Hygiene for Building Resilient Health Systems and Communities”. The event brought together key stakeholders and policymakers to discuss WASH COVID-19 interventions and highlighted the importance of cross-sector efforts and convergent actions to achieve a sustainable water, sanitation and sanitation future. hygiene (WASH).

In India, USAID supports partnerships that leverage the combined expertise, assets, and resources of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to provide cost-effective, results-oriented development solutions. Through its flagship NISHTHA Health System Strengthening Project, and in collaboration with Unilever, USAID is expanding the reach and impact of healthy hygiene behaviors among communities across India to improve health and well -to be. The partnership aims to leverage NISHTHA’s existing network of Health and Welfare Centers (HWCs) and community platforms such as panchayats/self-help groups/village health, sanitation and nutrition committees . Speaking at the event, Dr. Anuradha Jain, Technical Advisor, Health System Strengthening, USAID/India, noted that reliable access to clean water and sanitation saves lives, improves livelihoods and makes communities more resilient. Investments in water security, sanitation and hygiene are essential to progress in almost all aspects of global development. This was further emphasized to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. She emphasized that USAID will continue to support innovative, decentralized and affordable, safe WASH services and WASH-related policy interventions through public-private partnerships and active engagement with communities to ensure that investments made bring efficiency and continued access to improved WASH. and empower communities to demand WASH services.

Anila Gopal, Global Director, Health and Wellbeing, Unilever highlighted Unilever’s commitment across hygiene brands such as Lifebuoy and Domex to leverage the scale, expertise and resources of the to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. She also highlighted the important role played by the private sector in creating a sustainable WASH future and how strategic collaborations between businesses and NGOs can have a tangible impact on people’s lives, including in the midst of the pandemic. of COVID-19. Speaking as main guest Shri. S TS Singh Deo, Honorable Minister of Health – Family Welfare and Panchayat Raj for Chhattisgarh, shared his insights on prioritizing WASH in health systems. The keynote speaker, Dr. Jayanti.SRavi, IAS (former PS Health, Gujarat), Secretary of Auroville Foundation, discussed government priorities and strategies for WASH.

Other panelists included Pratibha Pal, IAS, Municipal Commissioner, Indore, BinuArickal, Head of Water Aid Strategic Initiatives, Anuj Sharma, Managing Director, Piramal Sarvajal, and Ms. Manvita Baradi and Director of Urban Management Center, Gujarat, Ahmedabad. The session reinforced the understanding that transformative approaches to building a sustainable WASH future require stronger collaboration and partnerships, increased governance and investments. There is a need to build the capacity of health and sanitation workers, raise public awareness through concerted behavior change and community engagement programs, and work with the private sector and other partners to investing in WASH. This will go a long way towards building a sustainable WASH future and empowering people to take sustainable action at the local level.

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