The H in WASH: a reflection on the contribution, style and legacy of Professor Val Curtis
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The H in WASH: a reflection on the contribution, style and legacy of Professor Val Curtis

  • Author(s): Cumming, O;
  • Howard, G;
  • Kolsky, P;
  • Luby, SP;
  • Chilengi, R;
  • Jr, Colford JM;
  • Iyer, P;
  • Cairncross, S;
  • Evans, BE
  • et al.
Abstract

Abstract In this paper we reflect on the contribution, style and legacy of Professor Val Curtis, an important, and sometimes controversial, figure in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector who sadly passed away on October 19, 2020. Across numerous scientific articles, and several books, and operational programmes, she established herself as a world-renowned scientific expert in the field of hygiene and behaviour change, as well as a major thought-leader in the WASH sector. We identify four major scientific contributions which she made over three decades of research that spanned multiple fields, including engineering, epidemiology, and psychology. Beyond her research, she tirelessly championed hygiene as a public health priority, using her talents as a communicator to secure concrete changes in relevant policy and practice. We are confident that her example, as both a public health researcher, and as a hygiene champion, will inspire future generations of WASH researchers and practitioners to be bold and ambitious.

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