What are the best alternatives to hand washing when water is limited or not available?

Face shields or goggles provide eye protection against transmission of coronaviruses in bodily fluids or respiratory droplets (World Health Organization, 2020).

Handwashing is the most vital form of infection control to protect against spread of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

When soap and running water are not available, you can use a hand sanitizer (handrub) with at least 60% alcohol content or make a handwashing device like a Tippy Tap. The WHO provides extensive instructions on how healthcare systems in low-resource settings can make alcohol-based hand sanitizer. See the link below for instructions and follow them carefully or the handrub will not work to sanitize hands.

The other option is to make a running water supply such as a Tippy Tap. Water used in this method does not have to be drinkable water. This requires a large water container with a handle and a lid, sticks, rope, a nail, and soap. Follow the instructions on one of the resources below to create the version that works for your setting.

Many ideas about handwashing alternatives have appeared online of various degrees of reliability, usefulness, and practicality. Our team is looking at those online resources and has found a few that we feel are the most reliable and practical. Other online resources we found are also listed below.


Hand sanitizer is the best option and can be made according to WHO instructions, but following instructions carefully is vital.


These are the TOP resources that our team found

To leave a comment about one of the resource links below, or to leave a comment about this page, please use the commenting form found at the bottom of the page. All comments are only visible to members of our staff and do not appear publicly. You can also upvote a link by clicking on the thumbs-up icon next to it.


OTHER RESOURCES

To leave a comment about one of the resource links below, or to leave a comment about this page, please use the commenting form found at the bottom of the page. All comments are only visible to members of our staff and do not appear publicly. You can also upvote a link by clicking on the thumbs-up icon next to it.

Hand Washing Alternatives – OTHER (8)


Sources Searched: WHO website, CDC website, Google search

Search Terms: (handrub OR hand sanitizer OR handwashing OR hand wash or hand hygiene) AND (alternatives OR resource-constrained OR LMIC)

Research on coronavirus and COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. This page reflects evidence collected up to May 29, 2020.


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