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Lessons from COVID-19 in South Africa: Keeping our environment clean should be the first law of health

Sarentha Chetty, Varsha Bangalee
South African Family Practice | Vol 63, No 1 : Part 3| a5297 | DOI: | © 2021 Sarentha Chetty | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 March 2021 | Published: 15 June 2021

About the author(s)

Sarentha Chetty, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Varsha Bangalee, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


In the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the links between poor hygiene, unclean environments and human health cannot be overemphasised, particularly in South Africa with its high incidence of infectious diseases and overburdened health system. One very controllable factor that is often overlooked is the poor disposal of litter and waste management and its adverse effects on public health. By wearing masks, regular handwashing and sanitising, as well as making sure that neighbourhoods and public spaces are clean and safe, the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases can be prevented.


COVID-19; litter; hygiene; infection prevention; infectious disease


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