May 20, 2024


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World’s first Global Hygiene Summit to take place in Singapore in 2023

  • RGHI to organise the world’s first Global Hygiene Summit in Singapore February 15th – 16th 2023.
  • The Global Hygiene Summit is being organised in partnership with the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (Singapore), and in collaboration with the World Bank.
  • The Global Hygiene Summit will create clarity around hygiene and the positive impact that improved standards could have on global health, including in the COVID-19 recovery period.

The Global Hygiene Summit 2023, organised in partnership with the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (Singapore), and in collaboration with the World Bank,  is being hosted in Singapore on the 15th and 16th February 2023.

The  Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute (RGHI), a not-for-profit foundation that was established in 2020 with a multi-year $25 million grant from Reckitt, RGHI is focussed on plugging significant gaps in the health research space and improving access to information that will bridge epidemiology, public health, and behaviour change. The Global Hygiene Summit will align with this aim by informing the global health agenda stimulating discussion that could lead to the adoption of better and more sustainable hygienic practises globally.

The event will create a forum for multi-level and multi-disciplinary discussions around hygiene science, behaviour, economics, and real-world experiences and outcomes. It will bring together scientists, politicians, the private sector and civil society to generate impact through the intersection between health and hygiene ~ which is vital to safeguarding the physical and economic wellbeing of populations worldwide, both amid COVID-19 and beyond.  

By articulating the shape, scope and importance of the hygiene field, motivating multi-level and multi-disciplinary working by bridging epidemiology, behaviour and policy, the Global Hygiene Summit intends to gain consensus on how to effectively measure and create behavioural change and economic impact (ROI), and how to present this to engage policymakers.

By establishing the need and basis for a holistic, co-ordinated approach the Global Hygiene Summit will create clarity around hygiene and the positive impact that could be gained in global health and societal outcomes. 

Global Hygiene Summit 2023 will also motivate the [Singapore] Declaration; a guide for structural change that will be brought about by co-discussion and global co-operation and set the agenda for future change.

Professor Yee Sin Leo, Executive Director, NCID said: “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 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.”

RGHI is already funding a multitude of projects, with the first body of completed RGHI-funded research recently published in Nature Communications. The research produced by scientists at the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health and the Yale School of Public Health focuses on the connection between long-term drought and diarrhoea among children under five in low- and middle-income countries.

“This kind of research is exactly why RGHI was established,” said Dr Simon Sinclair, RGHI Executive Director “We need concrete data that points to a course of action that governments can take to better safeguard public health.”

Dr Sinclair continued: “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.”

The Global Hygiene Summit 2023 Content Committee oversees the Summit programme ensuring the subjects for discussion are topical and meet the overall objectives. The members are drawn from diverse backgrounds and specialties and, together, have brought significant experience to the development and planning of the Global Hygiene Summit.

In order to deliver a co-ordinated approach, the Global Hygiene Summit will use three themes across its programme.

These are:

  • Practice
  • Policy
  • Science

The plenary sessions will be led by leading commentators and influencers in the field whilst the parallel sessions will utilise a panel discussion approach with speakers drawn from each of the three themes.

Plenary sessions:  

  • Hygiene: A new approach for the 21st Century   
  • Global burden (on wellness) through the hygiene lens 
  • Synthesising lessons towards an actionable plan for global hygiene   
  • Creating Hygiene Champions  

Parallel sessions:  

  • Hygiene in urban and built spaces – Hygiene program implementation and on the ground action  
  • Menstrual Hygiene   
  • How can hygiene interventions address AMR  
  • Systems strengthening  
  • The economics of hygiene   

Content Committee Chair, Dr Albert Ko, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Health and Chair of the Global Hygiene Summit Content Committee said: We haven’t tapped the full potential of hygiene, whether water, sanitation, respiratory or dental, to improve health and well-being. The Global Hygiene Summit is a key step in convening stakeholders and maximizing these benefits on the global scale”

More details regarding speakers, partners and content streams will be available in the coming weeks.

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