The Soapbox Collaborative

Saving lives with clean safe care at birth

Safe birth – nearly half a millon women and newborn babies lose their lives to infections every year

The Soapbox Collaborative was established in 2012 to inform and influence action by policy-makers, managers and the health workforce to reduce healthcare associated infections and deaths in mothers and newborns delivered in hospitals in low and middle-income countries.

Soapbox’s work was evidence-based; with teams based at two UK hub institutions – the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Aberdeen, undertaking research to strengthen understanding of healthcare associated infections and developing effective interventions to support quality improvement of hygiene standards in maternity units.

This site is an archive of resources relating to Soapbox’s seven years of work. The material reflects the diverse nature of Soapbox’s activities, and the wide range of partners we were privileged to engage with around the world.

The Soapbox Collaborative (SC047281) was a Scottish Registered Charity from 2012-2019.


TEACH CLEAN helps address a lack of formal training for those who clean and promotes IPC and WASH standards for a safer environment.



Read about our achievements and access our archive of newsletters and annual reports. 

Soapbox achievements. Credit: 2019 The Soapbox Collaborative


The WASH & CLEAN study aimed to understand the determinants of cleaning practices and so inform improvements in the state of cleanliness and safety in maternity units.

WASH & CLEAN. Credit: 2015 Bangladesh_The Soapbox Collaborative


Read Soapbox-led, co-authored and featured articles. 

Wash and clean – Severe infection is one of the leading causes of maternal deaths. More than two out of five maternal deaths occur within 24 hours due to haemorrhage or infection

The HANDS Project

A cross-sectional study investigating the barriers and facilitators of compliance to hand washing across 10 high-volume maternity units in Zanzibar.

The HANDS project - Soapboxer Giorgia Gon with colleagues at the University of Aberdeen and the Zanzibar Ministry of Health.

CLEAN study

From 2014, we worked with partners in Tanzania and Zanzibar to improve health service quality and contribute towards efforts to improve maternal health and reduce infection rates. 

CLEAN STUDY participants

The Aberdeen–Bahir Dar Knowledge Exchange Partnership

Soapbox created an extremely successful partnership to strengthen infection prevention and control, and support quality of care in Bahir Dar - particularly for maternal and newborn health.

The Aberdeen–Bahir Dar Knowledge Exchange Partnership

WASH & IPC Needs Assessments in Maternity Units in LMICs

Soapbox and our partners assessed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and infection prevention control (IPC) in maternity units in low and middle income countries.

The Soapbox Collective - IPC in Zimbabwe

Gambia Maternal Health Cleanliness Champions

This Initiative created a network of health champions to reduce healthcare associated infections at the time of birth in The Gambia.

Training cleaning champions to strengthen quality maternal and newborn care. Credit: 2012 Michael Tsegaye/Save the Children

Supporting Safe Births in Myanmar

This project seeks to improve the quality and safety of healthcare at the time of birth. It is being carried out in five township hospitals and focuses on good hygiene practices and cleanliness, and addressing current gaps in infection prevention and control.

Dr Thinn Myat Mon demonstrates the TEACH CLEAN illustrated guidelines.