Oxfam Focuses on Hygiene to Mitigate Virus in Nepal, Philippines, U.K.

Oxfam, along with the U.K. Department for International Development and the consumer goods company Unilever, began a 12-month program in Nepal and the Philippines to improve hygiene practices to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The program will build on Oxfam’s handwashing initiative Mum’s Magic Hands, which uses storytelling to encourage good hygiene.

The organization will train community volunteers to communicate the curriculum in the field as well as remotely through digital messaging, social media, or local news networks. Because women and girls are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, the new program will design activities specifically focused on challenges they face. Oxfam will also focus on its home territory by implementing more handwashing stands in Manchester and Oxford.

There have been just over 16,000 confirmed cases of the novel virus in Nepal and 56,259 cases in the Philippines, according to the World Health Organization. The UK has close to 900,000 confirmed cases, and has recently begun reopening its economy.

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