WaterAid and Thrive team up to protect vulnerable communities against Covid-19

Thrive teamed up with international charity WaterAid to create life-saving content for vulnerable communities to stop the spread of Covid-19.  The partnership sees agency’s award-winning content creation given pro bono to support WaterAid’s hygiene education and behaviour change work in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Clean water and good hygiene are the first line of defence against Covid-19. We are supporting WaterAid in creating culture-specific messaging to encourage social distancing and promote good hygiene practices, such as handwashing with soap. The content is designed to be SMS-friendly and will be shared on social media to ensure a wide reach.

Thrive is an expert in creating innovative health messaging rooted in behavior change for 40 countries in more than 25 languages, we have significant experience providing vital health information to communities in developing countries. Successful campaigns have included content to help improve the maternal health of more than two million mothers living in slums in India and a messaging service enabling pregnant women living with HIV in South Africa to make informed health choices for themselves and their babies.

In addition, the content produced will be made available at no cost for other non-profit organisations to use in their own Covid-19 prevention work.

WaterAid - James Kiyimba

Credit: WaterAid/ James Kiyimba

Gayatri Koshy, Thrive’s Head of Behavior Change, said

“We are delighted to join forces with WaterAid to support the world’s poorest people in tackling Covid-19 by helping deliver vital health messaging globally.

“Understanding communities’ needs is key to providing effective messaging that will drive impact. We pride ourselves on developing emotionally-supportive digital content to change behavioural practices, such as using cultural references to encourage social distancing.”

Since the global Covid-19 outbreak, WaterAid has urgently scaled up its work across its 28 countries. WaterAid has helped install handwashing facilities in places that need them most, such as busy public areas, and has launched public awareness campaigns promoting good hygiene practices.

Dr Om Prasad Gautam, WaterAid’s Senior WASH Manager for Hygiene, said:

“Frequent handwashing with soap is one of the best ways to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases, yet two in five people lack handwashing facilities at home.

“To help prevent the spread of Covid-19, WaterAid is racing to reach vulnerable communities with handwashing facilities and good hygiene awareness, and we are pleased to be working with Thrive to support our work. Their valuable experience is helping us save lives around the world.”

WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 27 million people with clean water and 27 million people with decent toilets.

  • 785 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.
  • 2 billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s around 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.
  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.
  • Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.
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