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, an honorary Professor at 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, and Tanzania. It is planning to expand its activities to Sierra Leone and Malawi.
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 been focusing on testing innovative ways to assess the status of water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as infection prevention control in healthcare facilities in the Gambia and in Zanzibar. These pilots adopt a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative techniques including interviews with healthcare providers, cleaners, and women who have recently given birth in focus facilities; a facility questionnaire and a walkthrough checklist. The methods integrate novel elements in terms of the use of microbiology and photo-elicitation.
In addition, the team at the School has been working to enhance the current knowledge on the epidemiology of puerperal and newborn sepsis building on existing published literature and datasets.
Further information on the project can be found at: