Applying evolutionary theory to hygiene behaviour in emergencies
Sian White Research Fellow in Enviromental Health Group - will deliver this talk entitled 'Applying evolutionary theory to hygiene behaviour in emergencies'.
In the wake of a humanitarian crises mortality associated with faecal-oral diseases like diarrhoea and respiratory infections increases by approximately 40% and outbreaks due to cholera and other pathogens become more likely. The simple act of handwashing with soap has the potential to dramatically curb the transmission of such diseases. In non-emergency settings we know that handwashing is influenced by a range of factors in the social and physical environment. When environments are damaged, populations displaced and then relocated to crowded settings following a crisis, all of these social and physical determinants of behaviour are disrupted. In order to promote hygiene in crisis-affected contexts we need to develop a deeper understanding of how hygiene behaviour responds and adapts. In this talk Sian White will discuss initial insights from her research in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Sian White is a Research Fellow in the Environmental Health Group. Over the last five years her research has focused on behaviour change in relation to water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition in Nigeria, Malawi, Indonesia, Ethiopia and most recently Iraq and DRC.