VisionSpring (www.visionspring.org), the pioneering social enterprise working with a mission to provide clear vision to all through eyeglasses, announced the launch of ergonomic and affordable handwashing stations across India to provide easy access to hand hygiene for hospitals and healthcare providers, NGOs, CSRs, Government, schools, transport hubs, and workplaces and factories. The launch comes as there is a gradual attempt by the Government towards the restoration of normalcy in India while it still grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. Hand hygiene would be a key factor in keeping the virus in check and successfully returning to the new normal. Handwashing is a simple yet primary preventive measure to stop the spread of COVID-19. Through the handwashing stations, VisionSpring endeavors to make handwashing accessible to all and promote the necessary behavioral change. This was another milestone by VisionSpring in its fight against COVID-19 in India after touching close to a million people so far this year through its COVID-19 response and relief activities and provision of PPE kits and essential commodities.
The launch was made at a webinar organized on 3rd November by VisionSpring to stress on the importance of hand hygiene and handwashing and how this simple practice can save millions of people from COVID-19 and help halt its rapid spread. Eminent speakers such as Ms. Shipra Saxena, Water and Sanitation Specialist, UNICEF, Mr. O. P. Singh, Head, Program Implementation (Health and Nutrition), Save the Children, Ms. Aparajita Singh, CEO, Gautam Gambhir Foundation, and Ms. Chandra Ganapathy, Head, Knowledge Management, WaterAid India, participated in the webinar. They shared their views on the challenges and the solutions and emphasized the need to make hand hygiene accessible through handwashing stations. Two models of handwashing stations, 500 liters and 20 liters were launched in different color variants. More than 350 participants from across India and abroad attended the webinar and gained immensely from the proceedings.
Ms. Noopur Srivastava, Director, Partnerships, India, VisionSpring, said, “VisionSpring conducted a Rapid Assessment Survey in April 2020, and the results illustrated the gap between hand hygiene facilities and hand hygiene practices. 52% of participating facilities lacked handwashing stations at entry. Of these, 76% were eye hospitals, and another 6% were district/tertiary hospitals or medical colleges. Hand sanitizers may kill viruses and certain bacteria, but they do not clean your hands as soap and water do. These findings resulted in us deciding to design and make ergonomic and affordable handwashing stations from scratch to fill the gap that existed and make handwashing with soap and water accessible to all.”