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  • The World’s First Global Hygiene Summit to take place in Singapore in 2022

    Published on June 29, 2021

        RGHI to organise the world’s first Global Hygiene Summit in Singapore May 8-10, 2022 in partnership with Singapore’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases and the World Bank

        COVID-19 has enabled a renewed focus on this often forgotten area of science

        By convening the global hygiene stakeholders, the Global Hygiene Summit will become the global meeting place for the diverse audiences involved in hygiene

    COVID-19 has brought hygiene, and, more specifically, the role it can play in our health, into sharp focus and further reinforced the fact that prevention is better than cure. However, despite hygiene being the preventive component of the global fight against infectious diseases it has languished as a minority scientific and political interest for decades.

    Established towards the end of 2020 with the mission of enabling and accelerating a portfolio of hygiene science to improve public health through better outcomes and behaviors the Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute (RGHI) will organize the world’s first Global Hygiene Summit in Singapore in May 2022 and raise hygiene, and the role it plays in our health, up the agenda. Singapore has been chosen as the venue for the inaugural summit because of its track record in public health and evidence-based policy and management of healthcare, and a trusted healthcare system.

    Organized in partnership with Singapore’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) and the World Bank the Global Hygiene Summit 2022 will create a forum for multi-level and multi-disciplinary discussions around hygiene science, behaviour, economics, and real-world experiences which can shape policy and drive better public health outcomes globally and aims to become the global meeting place for the diverse audiences involved in the science, implementation and policy of hygiene.

    Simon Sinclair, Executive Director of RGHI said: “One of the biggest issues in the hygiene space is its lack of definition as a field. There is no taxonomy, no consensus on terminology or how to measure the benefits of behavioural change. How can we expect to convince policymakers that they need to be investing in a space where we struggle to define the impact? The Global Hygiene Summit will create a positive and stimulating environment that aims to persuade the various hygiene stakeholders that working together will, ultimately, create a stronger voice for change. By articulating the shape and importance of the hygiene field and the value of rigorous science, and by creating positive changes in hygiene behaviours, the Global Hygiene Summit will convene a community of practice around hygiene that can effectively influence policy makers.”

    RGHI recognises that there needs to be solid, robust and well-founded scientific evidence that can be utilised to inspire behaviour change and convince policy makers of the benefits, something that is currently lacking. The need for more diverse hygiene research across the globe was echoed in a recent Economist Intelligence Unit report entitled ‘A life-course approach to hygiene: understanding burden and behavioural changes’ that was sponsored by RGHI.

    “Hygiene generally refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases. Despite its intimate link to health, hygiene is ill-defined and often intertwined with socioeconomic status, and cultural belief and practices. Hygiene is a fundamental pre-requisite for sustainable public health and with our dual mission of clinical and public health, NCID is pleased to partner Reckitt and World Bank for this inaugural summit in Singapore. Leveraging on prominent stakeholders, this summit will elevate hygiene to the highest global agenda in promoting and sustaining health,” said Professor Yee Sin Leo, Executive Director, National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

    “The importance of hygienic behaviour for better public health outcomes has never been more apparent in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. The Global Hygiene Summit in Singapore in May 2022 will shine a light on the  often neglected subject of behaviour change and put it on the same level in terms of public health impact as clean water and sanitation. The World Bank is delighted to partner with RGHI and NCID Singapore in organizing this event” said Muhammad Ali Pate, Global Director for Health and Jennifer Sara, Global Director for Water.