India – Diseases prevention programme in slums
- More than 125 slums in Coimbatore brought under this programme
- Use of public toilets by children being stressed
COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation has drawn up an elaborate programme for diseases prevention in the city’s slums. It has prepared a list of slums in the four zones and assigned health teams the task of educating the slum-dwellers on the various diseases that are caused by lack of hygiene.
The health wing of the Corporation is also concentrating on diseases such as malaria, dengue and chikungunya. That these vector-borne diseases can be prevented if breeding grounds for mosquitoes are eliminated is the message being given in all the slums.
More than 125 slums in the city have been brought under this programme. Even as the Corporation takes up a scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission to provide houses for the slum-dwellers, it wants to bring about hygiene in the present dwellings.
The objective is that by the time these slum-dwellers shift to the new tenements, hygienic practices should be in places.
A major focus in terms of personal hygiene is the prevention of open defecation. A specific programme is on to rid the slums of this problem. Health workers and officials are educating the people on the various health hazards from this practice. The use of public toilets by children is being stressed.
Assistant City Health Officer R. Sumathi says audio-video presentation on malaria, dengue and chikungunya is being made in the slums. Unsafe storage of water in open containers provides breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry the malaria-causing parasite or the viruses that cause dengue and chikungunya.
This component of the disease prevention education programme points out that water scarcity compromises hygiene. While the scarcity affects cleanliness, it also leads to frantic storage – even in open containers. Ultimately, the objective is to create diseases-free slums in the city. With most of the slum-dwellers being conservancy workers, the Corporation wants to ensure that they are healthy first so that hygiene can be ensured across the city.