News Archive 2006


Influenza Pandemic: Infection Control & Hygiene Intervention

The Hygiene Centre is working with primary schools in the London Borough of Redbridge, Ilford, to develop recommendations for schools for regular infection control and hygiene intervention during an Influenza Pandemic.

Assessing Diarrhoea Morbidity

Wolf-Peter Schmidt and Thomas Clasen continue their theoretical work to improve methods of assessing diarrhoea morbidity in epidemiological studies. A summary of the work will soon be made available as a Factsheet on the WELL website.


Hygiene Promotion is Most Cost Effective Intervention Says Definitive Review

Disease Control Priorities for Developing Countries published by Oxford University Press & The World Bank 2006

The second edition of this definitive book presents a comprehensive examination of global health. It contributes to global initiatives to improve health by comparing the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of interventions to improve health in developing countries.

Chapter 2 summarises the cost effectiveness of all the major interventions for all the major diseases. The comparative graph at figure 2.2 shows the intervention that comes out as globally the most cost-effective is Hygiene Promotion.

The whole book can be found and downloaded here.

Universiti Teknologi, Johor, Malaysia

Sandy Cairncross has been invited as a visiting professor to the Universiti Teknologi in Johor. He will be presenting a series of lectures on Epidemiology for Engineers.

'Clean water is a right'

The Economist 11th November 2006

This article in the International Section of The Economist reports on the recent annual report on human development, published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Contributions to the report were made by Sandy Cairncross and Steven Sugden - staff at LSHTM and Caroline Hunt - ex-member of the Environmental Health Group.

The Science of Behaviour Change

The SPARK process workshop on 'The Science of Behaviour Change', held at the Royal Institute of Public Health in London on October 19-20, sponsored by Unilever and the Hygiene Centre, proved to be a dynamic forum for experts from a variety of disciplines to share insights about their common - and differing - approaches to this central problem in public health.

Presentations were given by Gerald Zaltman (Harvard Business School) on 'Deep metaphors and consumer thought', Edmund Rolls (Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford) on 'Reward, Motivation, Emotion and Decision-Making', Robert West (Psychology department at University College London0, on 'Psychic tension and smoking cessation', Wesley Perkins (Chairman of the Department of Sociology, Hobart and William Smith College) on 'Social Norms and Adolescent Problem Drinking', Herbert Gintis (Santa Fe Institute) on 'Moral Sentiments and Material Interests', Dale Southerton, (Sociology at the University of Manchester) on 'The Social Ordering of Daily Practices: time, technology and daily life', JohnZeisel (Hearthstone Alzheimer Care) on 'Neuro-Environmnet 9N-E) Design as Behaviour Change', Kellie Sherlock (Unilever Consumer Insight) on 'From Theory to Practice: 9 Steps to Change, and Robert Aunger and Valerie Curtis (Hygiene Centre, LSHTM) on 'Motivation Mapping'.

Hygiene Centre staff are currently working on a report to be circulated to participants, and to incorporate the insights gained from the various work-groups into the processes associated with the design of public health interventions.


Wastewater Irrigation and Waste Stabilization Ponds

Jeroen Ensink is one of the authors on a recent article published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Mukhtar, M, Ensink JHJ, van der Hoek, W, Amerasinghe, F. P and Konradsen F.

Importance of waste stabilization

ponds and wastewater irrigation in the generation of vector mosquitoes in Pakistan. Journal of Medical Entomology, 2006 Sep;43(5):996-1003

ROSA Consortium 'Kick-off' Workshop

Constructed wetland at a Papermill, Gmund, AustriaROSA partners, Zwettle, AustriaROSA - the EU funded project for 'Resource-orientated Sanitation concepts for peri-urban areas in Africa' had a successful 'kick-off' meeting in Vienna and Gmund from 16-20 October.

Eight African partner organisations from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda joined the five European partners (including a team from the LSHTM Hygiene Centre) to discuss their contributions and expectations.

The group visited a dry urine-diverting toilet, a waterless urinal and two constructed wetlands.

23-27 October "In Safe Hands Marketing Workshop"

Staff from the Hygiene Centre are participating in a marketing training workshop run by Unilever's Marketing Academy in Nairobi.


European Commission FP6 Contract - ROSA

Staff at the Hygiene Centre are part of a successful application for Research Funding under the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme. The project entitled 'Resource-orientated Sanitation concepts for peri-urban areas in Africa' (ROSA) will run from 1st October 2006 to 30th September 2009. The ROSA website will be used as a forum for disseminating information during the life of the project.


EHG Administrative Assistant

We are very pleased to welcome Taryna Whayman who joins the Hygiene centre as the Environmental Health Group Administrative Assistant. Taryna’s previous employment covers a variety of roles from television research for TwoFour Productions to administration within the Canadian Red Cross.

The WHO Guidelines

The WHO Guidelines on Wastewater Reuse in Agriculture have recently undergone their second revision and will be presented at the International Water Association conference in Beijing in September 2006. Jeroen Ensink has been asked to write an editorial on the Guidelines for the publication Tropical Medicine and International Health.


From Nomad to No Water?

Sylvia Struck, research student with Professors Sandy Cairncross and David Bradley, was awarded a student fellowship grant by the Institute for Public Health and Water Research (IPWR) which is a not-for-profit organisation based in Illinois, USA.

Sylvia’s project, entitled ‘From Nomad to No Water? Poverty Policy and Settlement Impacts on Water Access for the Hima Pastoralists in South-western Uganda’ will be funded for two years.


Hygiene Centre Retreat

Hygiene Centre staff invited senior Unilever Research and Development staff to their retreat at Highley Manor. Activities were devised to encourage research ideas and to take a fresh look at the home environment in developing countries.Hygiene Centre staff invited senior Unilever Research and Development staff to their retreat at Highley Manor. Activities were devised to encourage research ideas and to take a fresh look at the home environment in developing countries.

- The Hygiene Centre hosted the 2006 meeting of the International Network to Promote Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage. This group was established in 2003 to contribute to making a significant reduction in waterborne disease, especially among vulnerable populations, by promoting household water treatment and safe storage as a key component of water, sanitation and hygiene problems.

The agenda covered the areas of research and implementation in HWTS; cost effectiveness of HWTS technologies; low cost water quality testing; advocacy and communication as well as allowing time for small group work. Further details about the Network are available from the WHO website or from Tom Clasen.


18th Annual Convention for Psychological Science

Bob Aunger and Val Curtis will be participating in the 18th Annual Convention for Psychological Science in New York, USA.

The 2006 convention will look at how psychology can capitalize on the familiarity of, and interest in, the subject to draw attention to the scientific underpinnings of behaviour, to reveal new knowledge, to describe and define what psychological science is.

Jeroen Ensink Joins EHG

Dr Jeroen Ensink joins the Environmental Health Group as research fellow. His background is in water resources and he will be working primarily on the safir project.


Val Curtis and Beth Scott will be delivering training at the 2006 University of Hand washing in Washington DC, USA. This annual event is hosted by the Secretariat for the Global PPP for Hand washing.More details

Hand Washing Initiative

Beth Scott and Val Curtis will be assisting the Hand washing Initiative Coordinator of the East Asia and Pacific Region Water and Sanitation Programme, with specialist help in designing and implementing a national consumer/baseline survey.


New Staff

Wolf-Peter schmidt joins the hygiene centre as its biostatistition. He is medically trained and is currently preparing a research trial to study the effects of interventions in childhood influenza.

New Staff

Erin Hill joins the Hygiene centre as the Environmental Health Group Assistant. Erin previously worked in cinema/film industry and we welcome the extensive administrative skills that she brings with her.


Rebecca Collins returns

Rebecca Collins returns to the Hygiene Centre as the Environmental Health Group Assistant Coordinator after working in Indonesia for four months.

Position Available

The Hygiene Centre is seeking an enthusiastic part time Research Fellow/Lecturer to assist in the design of interventional trials, carry out quantitative analysis and provide statistical and epidemiological support to the group.


Robert Aunger publishes chapter in major new book about the biologist Richard DawkinsRobert Aunger publishes chapter in major new book about the biologist Richard Dawkins more.


Tom Clasen et al publish paper on 'Microbiological performance of a water treatment unit designed for household use in developing countries'.


Jeroen Ensink completes PhD at LSHTM on 'Wastewater quality and the risk of hookworm infection in Pakistani and Indian sewage farmers'.

Val Curtis travels to Vietnam for the World Bank to establish new national hand wash initiative.

Tom Clasen completes PhD at LSHTM on 'Household-based water treatment for the prevention of diarrhoeal disease'.

Stephen Sugden initiates urban sanitation programme in Dar es Salaam.


Val Curtis undertakes a lecture tour in Canada on The History of Hygiene at the Stanier Institute of Hygiene.

Tom Clasen et al publish paper on 'Preventing diarrhoea with household ceramic water filters: assessment of a pilot project in Bolivia'.

Adam Biran completes report on indoor air pollution and malaria for WHO.

Unilever signs major 3-year contract with Hygiene Centre.

- Val Curtis undertakes a lecture tour in Canada on The History of Hygiene at the Stanier Institute of Hygiene.

Emergency Environmental Health Forum 2005 - 12-13 April

The Interagency Emergency Health Forum was held in April at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. To access the presentations given by speakers on a variety of emergency environmental health issues, click on the link. More

Campaign TV ad cleans up at marketing awards

The award for Best Television Advert of the Year in Ghana has been presented to an advert about toilet and soap which aimed to target mothers, encouraging them to protect their infants through the simple practice of hand washing with soap. Beth Scott and Val Curtis are advisors to the PPPHW project. More

Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion - a new programming guide

A new guide to help people effect and sustain a hygienic and healthy environment for themselves is now available. By developing a programme for more effective investment in sanitation and hygiene promotion, it lays out a process for long-term change which may encompass institutional transformation of the policy and organisational arrangements for provision of goods and services. The guide was produced jointly by WSSCC, WHO, LSHTM, PAHO, UNICEF, USAID, WEDC and WSP. To access the guide, click here. More

Disgust shown to protect people from disease risk

Researchers from the Hygiene Centre have shown that people around the world feel disgusted by things that can make them ill, arguing that disgust has evolved as a mechanism to protect people from risks of disease. The study, published in Royal Society Biology Letters, involved one of the biggest web-based experiments ever conducted. More

Behaving clean

Innovative approaches to hygiene promotion in Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe

Hygiene promotion is an important but notoriously difficult part of any water and sanitation programme. Experiences in Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe show that understanding how people actually behave is the key to initiating change, say researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Hygiene Centre. More

Can Hand washing with soap prevent transmission of SARS as well as diarrhoea?

The simple act of washing your hands with soap, which reduces the risk of diarrhoea by half in both developed and developing countries, could also be the key to preventing the spread of acute respiratory infections such as SARS. More
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