Handwashing with soap is our best defence against corona virus - clean hands save lives.

What is COVID19?

Coronaviruses are a group of contagious, flu-like viruses. They cause symptoms that can be as mild as a common cold but in some cases can be fatal. COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus that is spreading quickly around the world. Early symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty in breathing – similar to other flu-like illnesses. 

Why is handwashing so important?

Frequent, thorough handwashing with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Like a cold, coronaviruses are spread through droplets from a person coughing or sneezing, and potentially via contaminated surfaces. Good hygiene is key to avoiding spreading it – and catching it.

Handwashing with soap is simple but effective. This is because it inactivates and removes virus particles that may be on our hands. When used propersly, soap effectively dissolve the fatty membrane that surrounds the virus particles, causing them to fall apart and be inactivated.

Our guide to handwashing

As the film demonstrates, it is important to:

Rub both hands together vigorously using soap and water until a soapy lather appears. Continue for at least 20 seconds - as long as it takes to sing happy birthday twice.

Make sure you cover:

  • Palm to palm
  • The back of your hands
  • In between your fingers
  • The back of your fingers
  • Your thumbs
  • The tips of your fingers

In the context of COVID-19 prevention, you should make sure to wash your hands at the following times:

  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After visiting a public space, including public transportation, markets and places of worship
  • After touching surfaces outside of the home, including money
  • Before, during and after caring for a sick person
  • Before and after eating

Download our poster, available in Swahili, which shows some of the other key measures you can take to protect yourself against the spread of corona virus.


What is WaterAid doing?

WaterAid Tanzania will be supporting the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) in the Coronavirus response. This will involve focusing on three high-risk regions, including Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Zanzibar. Our work will involve supporting the Ministry to scale up water, sanitation and hygiene services, such as handwashing facilities at key locations, using mass media to share important handwashing and hygiene messages, and supporting healthcare and frontline workers on Infection Prevention and Control training, particularly for our water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities project in Geita.

Water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities

Now more than ever, we need to ensure all healthcare facilities have access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to reduce to risk of infections. Without these fundamentals, disease outbreaks, like COVID19, become difficult to manage.