Working together against COVID-19

The world is facing an unprecedented challenge. The global response requires decisive action that will contribute to the defeat of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) researchers, students, and alumni have come together as a strong community to halt this global threat.

Our COVID-19 Response Fund was launched to ensure that the latest insights are effectively translated and implemented, protecting people around the world. With our donors, LSHTM can address some of the most crucial challenges in tackling the spread of the virus. One key area where support can have a rapid and critical impact is in hygiene education.

At LSHTM, we are proud to be using the COVID-19 Response Fund to support a new communications campaign, emphasising the importance of handwashing and social distancing.

The campaign was developed by behavioural scientists from the CLEAR Project, based in Tanzania. This project supports the country’s national sanitation campaign (called Nyumba ni choo), which is now being pivoted to promote compliance with anti-COVID behaviours. The initiative is anticipated to reach 30 million people in Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana, delivering compelling messaging to prevent the spread of the virus.

Project lead, Dr Robert Aunger, Associate Professor in Evolutionary Public Health at LSHTM, explains the concept:

“We developed a short, animated film inspired by the story of King Midas called 'The Corona Touch'. It emphasises the negative consequences of not following social directives such as washing hands with soap by making them much more obvious and immediate to the transgressor. It was important for us to go beyond purely educational messaging around the current pandemic, as we think it will soon be necessary to ensure that people’s motivation doesn’t flag with the painful sacrifices they are making. We hope the animation will be widely shared on social media around the world.”

Dr Robert Aunger, Associate Professor in Evolutionary Public Health

The campaign would not have been possible without the support of donors to the COVID-19 Response Fund. Such support is vital to lessening the spread in low- and middle-income countries where the pandemic is threatening to cause major suffering and disruption.

With continued support, our teams can carry on vital research, advise decision makers, and track the virus to tackle its spread. 

To find out how you can help in the fight against COVID-19, or to discuss wider opportunities about philanthropic support in crises, please contact:

Valerie Boulet
Director of Development and Alumni Relations
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7927 2630