The Soapbox Collaborative is a UK based Charity established with the aim to ensure clean safe care at birth. It is a needs-driven initiative, meaning that all support – technical or financial – is based on explicit local assessments of the current situation, of the specific needs, and of the options for achieving a lasting effect beyond the benefits of any input from Soapbox.

Professor Wendy Graham, LSHTM, has been the leading figure in establishing the Soapbox Collaborative and is currently the Scientific Coordinator of the project.

The Soapbox Collaborative currently works in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Tanzania, Malawi and Myanmar.

WASH Tools Workshop, Zanzibar

WASH Tools Workshop, Zanzibar

The activities supported fall into two main arms:

  • Action-oriented work to improve practices, environments and awareness;
  • Know-how studies to improve understanding on infections related to delivery and on their prevention.

Of these activities, the LSHTM team focuses on improving understanding on infections related to delivery and on their prevention. Under this umbrella, the research based at the School has focussed on a mixed-methods approach to assess the status of water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as infection prevention control in healthcare facilities in the Gambia, Zanzibar, Malawi and Myanmar.

Recently the team has completed a formative study in Zanzibar to explore the behavioural determinants of hand hygiene by birth attendants. The results are being analysed and the group at LSHTM is now supporting the team in Zanzibar with a grant application to implement hand hygiene interventions. Needs assessments in Zanzibar and Gambia have also led to the development of a participatory training intervention for facility cleaners that we plan to evaluate. In Malawi the team is helping to plan formative research for hygiene behaviour change promotion in rural health centres. In addition, the team at the School has been working to enhance the current knowledge on the epidemiology of puerperal sepsis building on existing published literature and datasets.

Further information on the project can be found at:

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