Policy Brief.2020

The key role of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in the response to COVID-19 in Brazil

How can well-designed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services contribute to COVID-19 containment? This policy brief looks at measures taken in Brazil, and provides an overview of the risks and potentials, together with recommended actions.

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Frequent and proper handwashing with soap is a key component for preventing and controlling the spread of Covid-19, and similar diseases. Therefore, continued access to good quality WASH services should be at the heart of any country’s response to pandemic risks. 

By looking at measures taken at federal and state level in Brazil, this policy brief outlines the importance of WASH related actions in the fight against the pandemic. With Brazil’s already extremely challenging WASH situation this is a daunting task, as it is for many other countries around the world. This task, however, is best tackled with an improved understanding of the system’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential. 

The policy brief calls for stronger cooperation between and within different levels of government, better access to reliable data, and a greater focus on WASH services in low-income settings and urban slums, as well as schools and other key institutions.