Health and Hygiene Monitoring

Theme Lead: Dr Colleen Archer



Lead organisation

Brief Description

2021 – 2022

WASH R&D Centre

There are currently no accredited laboratories in Africa that provide helminth testing on water, sanitation, or environmental samples. This has led to discussions and a proposal by TüV SüD to support the Centre’s laboratory in undertaking accreditation under ISO-17025/2017 and particularly, to accredit the helminth methods (and two physicochemical methods).

2019 – 2021

WASH R&D Centre (as the PRG)

The PRG Helminth Method is being rigorously tested and improved with the intention of having it accepted as an international standard.

2019 – 2020

Emory University

Using the SaniPath Exposure Assessment Tool in ten communities in eThekwini Municipality to assess risk related to poor sanitation and to help prioritize sanitation investments based on the exposures that have the greatest public health impact.

2019 – 2020

UKZN – Life Sciences

This project will provide information on the levels of pathogenic microorganismal contamination of contact surfaces in CABs. Using CABs within two informal settlements as case studies, exposure to risk will also be assessed. The data to be generated will hopefully inform policy for,ulation in relation to the design, location, maintenance and use of these shared sanitation facilities. In addition, the users of the CABs will be made aware of how their behaviour affects the level of risks they are exposed to.

2014 – 2018

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Testing of viscous heaters for the deactivation of helminths in faecal sludge.

2011 – 2013

University of Maryland

The Menstrual Management and Sanitation Systems project was headed by the University of Maryland, and involves multiple partners including PATH, Stockholm Environment Institute, Columbia University, and University of KwaZulu-Natal. The investigation comprised of different research activities to examine factors that influence the methods women use to manage their menstrual periods, the acceptability of alternative menstrual management products, and the potential impact of current menstrual management methods on the functioning of sanitation systems in India and South Africa. 


WASH R&D Centre (as the PRG)

The project produced a manual, developed to specify a standard analytical method for water and wastewater laboratories to recover and enumerate helminth ova in wastewater, sludge, compost and urine-diversion waste. The manual serves to guide microbiologists and laboratory technicians by means of step-by-step procedures to analyse various types of waste samples and to recognize different helminth species found in South Africa.

2005 – 2008

WASH R&D Centre (as the PRG)

The eThekwini urine diversion toilets were installed because of the municipality’s experience in the logistical difficulties and excessive cost associated with the emptying of VIP toilets. The municipality realised that they did not have a complete knowledge of urine diversion toilets, hence their request for research support. The risks associated with different disposal routes for the solids from vault need to be evaluated.

Information for visitors