Slum kids taught basics of hygiene
VARANASI: For Shubham, a Class VI student of the city, becoming a part of the ‘Saathi Bachpan Ke‘ programme– the country’s first national alliance on diarrhoea prevention and management that started in one of the slums near DDU district hospital in Pandeypur area on Monday– was an eye-opener, making him understand the significance of personal hygiene and sanitation.
While the young student of UP Inter College was already washing his hands with soap after using the toilet, the programme taught a number of slum children like him the correct way to clean hands with soap that could reduce the risk of diarrhoea diseases by almost 50 per cent.
“Washing hands with soap is not new but knowing the correct way of using soap and cleaning hands is a great experience,” said Shubham, who was joined by a number of slum children, including girls, to show the right way of going about it. “Proper hand washing requires soap and only a small amount of water and one should cover wet hands with soap, scrub all the surfaces and rinse well with running water. The hand parts, including palms, back and especially area under fingernails must be thoroughly cleaned,” added the young lad like a trained student.
It may be mentioned here that ‘Saathi Bachpan Ke‘ alliance is a special project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Market-based Partnerships for Health (MBPH). The project focuses on simple and effective solutions like hand washing with soap, use of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) and purification of drinking water to reduce diarrhoea deaths in children.
“Till now, I was only washing my hands with soaps after using the toilet but now I have realised that hands should be washed properly before handling food, even during cooking and eating,” said Ramjani, who worked as a maid-servant. “Unfortunately, most of us do not use soap regularly at home and invite diseases that take a heavy toll on life and money,” she added.
Heavy presence of slum-dwellers, including women and children, in the area was also enough to ensure encouraging response to efforts. Officials from the health department were also present.
“We are trying to bring together diverse organisations, community health service providers and NGOs to ensure healthier children,” said Vani Khurana, one of the spokesperson of MBPH. “The project started in UP in July this year and has already covered rural and urban areas of Lucknow and Kanpur. We would like to spread it further while creating mass awareness on clean water, improved sanitation and better hygiene,” she concluded.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Considerations in Home-Based Care For People Living with HIV, May 2010.
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Christopher Seremet, Catholic Relief Services.
This guidance document offers water supply and sanitation facility and hygiene promotion design considerations and recommendations intended to increase access to these facilities by people living with HIV. People living with HIV often require modifications to their water supply and sanitation facilities and hygiene practices due to their debilitating illness. This guidance document is intended for Home-Based Care (HBC) practitioners serving people living with this disease as well as water and sanitation engineers and technicians tasked with providing community water supply and household sanitation systems.
Below is a current awareness bulletin of recently published reports and studies. If you would like to be on the Environmental Health at USAID mailing list for current awareness alerts, please send an email to: email@example.com
USAID Hygiene Improvement Project
- Counseling Cards. Pictorially based tools prepared for home-based care workers to use with clients in the household, including a WASH Assessment Tool (to assess the current WASH behaviors to help identify those that need to be improved) and 23 Counseling Cards (covering hand washing; water treatment, storage and handling; feces management for mobile and bed-bound clients; and menstrual blood management).
Environmental Health at USAID
- Environmental health journals and literature resources – Links to key journals, bibliographic databases and literature resources.
- Quality of Drinking-water at Source and Point-of-consumption—Drinking Cup As a High Potential Recontamination Risk: A Field Study in Bolivia. IN: Jnl Health Pop Nut (forthcoming article) – Home-based interventions in disinfection of water may not guarantee health benefits without complementary hygiene education due to the risk of posttreatment contamination.
Water and Sanitation Program (WSP)
- Financing On-Site Sanitation for the Poor – A Six Country Comparative Review and Analysis, 2010. – Public investments of varying forms enable an absolute increase in the number of poor people gaining access to sanitation, varying from 20% to 70%, according to a study of six cases in Bangladesh, Ecuador, India, Mozambique, Sénégal, and Vietnam. This research seeks to identify the best-performing approaches and the relevant factors and issues to consider in designing a sanitation financing strategy. The report offers guidance to sector professionals developing on-site sanitation projects and programs, which play the leading role in providing access to sanitation
- Information on improved latrine options – This booklet is really meant to be useful to anyone interested in and working on sanitation programs, and raise people’s awareness of options, create sanitation demand and work on actual construction of latrines.
IRC International Water & Sanitation Centre
- Designing evidence-based communications programs to promote handwashing with soap in Vietnam – The paper concludes with practical recommendations for program managers of behavior change programs and includes examples of the communications materials developed for the Vietnam Handwashing Initiative. [Paper written for the South Asia Hygiene practioners’ workshop, 1 – 4 February 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh]
- Beyond tippy-taps: the role of enabling products in scaling up and sustaining handwashing – This article summarizes findings from the Water and Sanitation’s Global Scaling Up Handwashing Project and other research that suggest that convenient access to water and soap when and where needed and having a designated place for HWWS are also important determinant for handwashing. Enabling products such as handwashing stations provide such a designated place in addition to an environmental cue to action and a stable context for handwashing, factors that literature highlight as critical for habits to form and be maintained.
- Burden of Inheritance – Can we stop manual scavenging ? Yes, but first we need to accept it exists.
In sharp contrast to her questioner, who tip-toes around the delicate subject, Akhi Sultana belts out a full-throated response that is audible to everyone in a room full of strangers.
“Before, when I had my period, I could not change my rags or wash properly,” the 16-year-old says, referring to the strips of old saris that poor Bangladeshi women use to manage menstruation because they cannot afford tampons or sanitary pads. “I always felt shaky and afraid because there was no privacy in the latrines and no water nearby to wash with,” Ms Sultana says. “Now there is a water pump adjacent to the latrine and it is private.”
She lives in the Zakirer slum in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, one of dozens of cramped settlements where a third of the city’s 10m people reside. The pump and latrine she refers to were installed thanks to WaterAid, the charity the Financial Times is supporting this year in its seasonal appeal. But equally significant – in a society where women are often treated as second or third-class citizens – is the way she is talking: forthright, matter-of-fact, unabashed.