For Sightsavers’ day-to-day work in NTDs, this new, WHO-stamped shared agenda means:
- A powerful global mandate to emphasis WASH-related interventions – they’re not a nice-to-have in elimination programs, but a MUST-have. This ties directly into current work on the SAFE strategy to eliminate trachoma – our programs are focusing on the F&E (facial cleanliness and environmental improvement) elements more and more, especially with the help of the F&E toolkit. See more below on some of our F&E work in Africa to eliminate trachoma.
- A new programmatic focus on changing social norms and behaviours as well as ensuring infrastructure needs are met. In other words, we want to create a demand for WASH services through better messaging and work with the WASH sector to make sure these services are available.
- A new set of joint indicators for programmes which we are leading to develop in collaboration with several organisations and academic institutions. Using a research methodology to achieve consensus through expert consultation, we’ll ensure that we have common measures across programmes to understand impact and improve interventions.
Overall, this is a clear step away from siloed programming, which will in turn contribute to the broader development agenda. And that is something to celebrate!
We’re already putting policy into practice in our NTD programmes:
Three countries, three new approaches to WASH and NTDs
Uganda’s revision and dissemination of School Sanitation and National Sanitation guidelines
Under The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Trachoma Initiative, we’re working with the Carter Center to eliminate blinding trachoma. These revised curricula for schools and a new national strategic set of guidelines will include facial cleanliness, WASH, and trachoma prevention. This is an impressive display of collaboration between several sectors including NTDs, WASH, education and the Ministry of Health.