Peter Piot announced as a founding member of new global hygiene institute’s expert panel

Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Professor Peter Piot, has joined other global health leaders as founding members of a new institute that aims to improve global hygiene.

Launched by Reckitt Benckiser, the Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute (RGHI) is a public health research and innovation hub that will bridge epidemiology, public health, and consumer insights to generate practical, high-quality scientific research that leads to enduring behaviour change.

Peter joins an expert panel comprised of multi-disciplinary experts, including Dame Sally Davies, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge , Professor Dr. Albert Ko, Department Chair and Professor of Epidemiology, Yale School of Medicine, Professor Teo Yik-Ying, Dean, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Professor Feng Cheng, Research Centre for Public Health, Tsinghua University School of Medicine.

Through the establishment of a fellowship program with leading universities, RGHI will generate practical, informed public health research and recommendations that champion global hygiene as the foundation of health.

The RGHI Governing Board will determine specific areas for research and will work with the Expert Panel to award the fellowships to promising early career academics, who will become Reckitt Fellows. In addition to the fellowships, the Institute will award grants to institutions for open, collaborative, cross-functional research. The Expert Panel will further define the parameters of these awards.

Professor Peter Piot said: “Simple hygiene practices are one of the essential ways to reduce transmission of COVID-19, especially in the absence of a vaccine. In addition, hygiene has historically been instrumental in reducing mortality from various causes. However, implementing measures and best practices is complicated, with hygiene habits and policies varying around the world.

“To encourage effective behaviour change, policymakers need high quality evidence of what works and what doesn't. That means investing in research, and training the next generation of experts. As a global leader in this area, LSHTM is delighted to be playing a vital role in this new initiative."

RB’s $25 million investment in the new RGHI will generate practical, evidence-based recommendations to achieve global hygiene excellence through improved behaviours.

Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of RB, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed public health to the top of the global agenda. At RB, we see the need for a new paradigm that brings together the highest quality scientific evidence and informed public health recommendations to generate large-scale behaviour change for a cleaner, healthier world.

“Today we’re announcing our commitment to convene a group of multi-disciplinary experts who, like us, believe real change on a global scale is within reach if we can translate science-based evidence and consumer behavioural insights into sustainable hygienic practices that can be adopted globally. This ambitious goal is the result of our belief that the highest quality hygiene is a right and not a privilege.” 

LSHTM is a world leader in researching the links between behaviour change and good hygiene.

Recent initiatives include the launch of a new ‘Hygiene Hub’ which is linking science to action to help save lives during the pandemic. This online portal provides ‘real-time’ support and latest evidence for hygiene interventions actors, and is supported by funding from DFID and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.



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