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Addressing systems challenges and promoting the role of water, sanitation, and hygiene to support the health and wellbeing of all.

Selected contributors

Dr Githinji Gitahi 2020.jpg

Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa

A passionate advocate for pro-poor Universal Health Coverage, Githinji leads the largest Africa-led international organisation, reaching more than 11 million people each year through 150 projects across 35 countries.

CONNECT Health Webinar

How can we align WASH and health for better wellbeing?
Our webinar will introduce the primary entry points that the WASH sector can leverage to work in closer partnership with the global health sector and introduce our CONNECT Health programme.

All systems and people connecting

We open with our symposium’s purpose. Experts, changemakers and decision-makers assemble to explore how connecting across boundaries and promoting systems leadership can help us achieve social justice and improved national systems.

C1.1 Supporting robust, high-quality health systems through WASH 

Time: 11:30

Location: Africa, World Forum

Water sanitation and hygiene are critical for ensuring health and wellbeing, and therefore must be included in strategies to strengthen the health system. This plenary session will hear from high-level WASH and health leadership on how these two sectors currently align and what more is needed for better partnership and alignment moving forward.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Lindsay Denny, IRC

Bruce Gordon, World Health Organization (WHO)

Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Amref Health Africa

Dr. Mary Eyram Ashinyo, Ghana Health Service

Neha Mankani, PUSH Campaign

Dr Herbert Nabaasa, Ministry of Health, Uganda

C1.2 Safer healthcare facilities through WASH and infection prevention and control

Time: 13:45

Location: North America, World Forum

Achieving Universal Health Coverage, improving the Quality of Care and ensuring adequate Infection Prevention Control cannot be achieved without WASH facilities in health care facilities. Join this session to hear from WASH and health systems experts, share your own experience and develop an advocacy pitch for improving WASH in healthcare facilities.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Lisa Rudge, UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

Jo Keatinge, UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

Bruce Gordon, World Health Organization (WHO)

Neha Mankani, , PUSH Campaign

C1.3 Aligning climate-smart WASH & health agendas

Time: 15:30

Location: Antartica, World Forum

Impacts due to climate change pose a risk to water and sanitation systems; if these systems fail, they in turn threaten human health.  As the health and WASH sectors develop climate-smart agendas, where are there overlaps and how do we work together to advocate within the climate space?

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Johanna (José) Sluijs, Amref Flying Doctors

Lindsay Denny, IRC

Martin Muchangi, Amref Health Africa

Dr Githinji Gitahi, Amref Health Africa

Maybin Ng'ámbi, World Vision

Day 2
Strengthening all systems – building resilience with water, sanitation and hygiene

Our systems journey continues as we explore and promote the role of resilient national water and sanitation systems, and the change agenda required to deliver them. Explore how water and sanitation can galvanise the development of wider public services.  

C1.4 The role of women and girls in designing solutions to WASH in healthcare

Time: 11:30

Location: Yangtze, World Forum

Poor WASH conditions in healthcare facilities disproportionately impact women and girls, both as healthcare workers and as patients. This session will discuss the strategies WASH and health partners use to more effectively engage women and girls in the process of designing gender-responsive solutions to these challenges in healthcare facilities.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Lindsay Denny, IRC

Molly Browning, White Ribbon Alliance

Leanne Levers, White Ribbon Alliance

Neha Mankani, , PUSH Campaign

Dr. Mary Eyram Ashinyo, Ghana Health Service

C1.5 Applying system thinking for collaborative WASH and health efforts

Time: 13:45

Location: King Willem Alexander, World Forum

A strong health system is contingent upon the availability of water, sanitation, and hygiene. However, the division between WASH and health often leads to fragmentation, poor coordination, and gaps in service. This session builds on the CONNECT-Health plenary by exploring the lessons learned from successful partnerships between WASH and health actors.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Cathy Phiri, IMA World Health / Corus International

Lindsay Denny, IRC

Roland Hansen, Malteser International

Arno Coerver, Malteser International

Kate Pearson, Max Foundation

Kirk Dearden, IMA World Health / Corus International

Aarin Palomares, FHI 360, Global Handwashing Partnership

Ruhil Iyer, Sanitation Learning Hub, Institute of Development Studies

Cathy Phiri, IMA World Health / Corus International

C1.6 Working alongside disease-specific health programming

Time: 15:30

Location: South America, World Forum

Within the health system, disease-specific programming is still prevalent. As such, WASH partners need to adapt their strategies to work alongside these efforts. How can WASH be integrated into disease-specific programming? And through this process, are there opportunities to encourage a systems strengthening approach? 


Yael Velleman, Unlimit Health

Sophie Boisson, World Health Organization (WHO)

Michael Ofire, Amref Health Africa

Dr. Om Prasad Gautam, WaterAid / Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal

Day 3
Taking action as systems leaders

We'll synthesise insights from the first two days, agree on actions and put you in the driving seat. With help from our Wisdom Council, you’ll take part in Action Assemblies and a final plenary to help define a post-event agenda while –hopefully – committing to your role in it. 

C1.7 Follow-up to the UN 2023 Conference's Water and Health Interactive Dialogue

Time: 8:30

Location: Yangtze, World Forum

The first half of this session will tackle how to take forward the recommendations and commitments outline at the UN Water Conference in March 2023, including the Interactive Dialogue on Water and Health. The second half will engage health leadership, along with participants, to reflect on Days 1 and 2 of the Symposium to identify key opportunities for WASH-health partnership.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Bruce Gordon, World Health Organization (WHO)

Lindsay Denny, IRC

Robert Bos, IRC

HE Dr Dereje Duguma Gemeda, Ministry of Health

Virginia Roaf, Water WISER

Elias Chimulambe, Ministry of Water and Sanitation

C1.8 Action Assembly: Health

Time: 11:00

Location: Amazon, World Forum

It’s time to raise our voices! Participants, not speakers or dignitaries, will be in the driving seat, for these informal town hall-style ‘Assemblies’ dedicated to moving the Water Action Agenda forward. A small number of foundational questions will generate insights, action agendas and systems leadership demands  for each.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

All symposium participants.

Our CONNECT Health blogs

Explore the rest of our programme

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