Hand washing on the APY Lands

A place to wash your hands…

Having a place to wash your hands with soap is vital to help reduce the spread of infectious disease such as COVID-19

Soap is being distributed to houses/yards across the APY Lands in South Australia, turning yard taps into hand washing stations to boost the fight against COVID-19.


‘Soap on a rope’ for the APY Lands

A simple hand washing initiative is being rolled out by Nganampa Health in South Australia to get soap to every house/yard across the APY Lands. Having a place to wash your hands with soap is vital to help reduce the spread of infectious disease such as COVID-19. Attached to a working yard tap, the initiative turns a simple yard tap into a hand washing station and provides overcrowded households with additional options to reduce the spread of the disease. Over 17,000 bars of soap have been donated to date for the initiative by SOAP AID, who recycle and supply soap to communities facing major hygiene challenges.

“Half of the 9,000 children that are estimated to die from diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia everyday in our poorest countries could be saved by the routine use of hand washing with soap.” Professor Martyn Jeggo, Director of Health Programs, Soap Aid

Mobile hand washing trailer in use at a community in the APY lands, water, sink, mirror and soap supplied.

A mobile hand washing trailer

As a further part of the hand washing initiative a hand washing trailer, originally made for remote sorry & business camps is now in use as a mobile hand washing station in the fight against COVID-19. Funded by Rotary and National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) the trailer can be quickly mobilised to hot spots across the APY Lands, providing an alternative place for people to wash their hands.

The World Health Organisation and UNICEF Integrated Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) aims to end preventable child deaths by 2025. A key recommendation for the prevention and treatment of pneumonia and diarrhoea is hand washing with soap.

Research has shown that hand washing with soap is vital to improve the health and development of children in disadvantaged communities, and can reduce the number of diarrhoea cases by more than 40 per cent. Hand hygiene has a dramatic impact on preventing deaths and illnesses caused by trachoma, worm infections, chronic malnutrition, swine flu, pneumonia, SARs, and diarrhoea.

Hand washing with soap and improved hygiene practices is a simple, effective way to save lives.