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Guidance Note Guidance Note

Monitoring and mitigating the secondary impacts of the COVID19 epidemic on WASH services availability and access

Primary impacts of an outbreak are defined as the direct and immediate consequences of the epidemic on human health. Secondary impacts are defined as those caused by the epidemic indirectly, either through the effect of fear on the population or as a consequence of the measures taken to contain and control it. For clarity and simplicity, we are not including the consequences for the individual or the family of being sick or dying from it, such as time spent in hospital, treatment expenses, loss of the family breadwinner, bereavement, survivor stigmatization, etc. as those would be independent from the response to the epidemic.

Countries will experience secondary impacts on WASH services in different ways, depending on the underlying strength of their economy and social services, the type of measures taken to contain the virus and their duration. Similarly, not all members of a society will suffer the consequences in the same way, with most of the impact expected among the most vulnerable to economic and social shocks, and to WASH services disruption (i.e. due to poverty, discrimination or other causes of vulnerability).