DISCUSSION LEADERS GUIDE
At the end of this learning/discussion session, the participants should be able to:
1. Tell why a new water supply system is not by itself enough to improve health in their community.
2. List rules of personal hygiene that can contribute to good health.
3. List rules of communal hygiene that can contribute to good health.
4. Identify ways of teaching people in their community about personal and communal hygiene.
one to two hours
chalkboard and chalk, or flipchart and pen
1. The RULES OF PERSONAL AND COMMUNAL HYGIENE listed in this sessions materials will be meaningful ONLY if the participants already understand and accept the relationship of water/sanitation/health. They must be firmly convinced that improved water and sanitation can lead to improved health or they will not make the effort to change their habits in order to obey the RULES.
It is particularly important that all the participants have an opportunity to give their ideas and feelings about each of the RULES. Therefore, follow the DISCUSSION OPPORTUNITY questions carefully.
· The answers to those questions should come from the participants, NOT from you.
2. READING ASSIGNMENT: If this group does study assignments before each learning/discussion session, ask them to read the material in Session 5 before the next group meeting.
Read about the Rules of Personal and Communal Hygiene. Your discussion leader will answer any questions you may have.
Use the DISCUSSION OPPORTUNITY to talk about things that can be done in your community to improve health.
WHO PROTECTS THE WATER?
Improved health depends NOT ONLY on an improved water supply, but also on HOW the people USE that water supply.
If people are careless with water - if, for example
· children are allowed to throw trash into a well (affecting its quality and taste); or
· standpost taps are left open (causing waste of water and muddy pools); or
· peoples sanitary habits pollute the streams (spreading water-borne disease)
then the new water supply system will not contribute to better health.
REMEMBER: EVERYONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROTECTION OF COMMUNITY WATER.
RULES OF COMMUNAL HYGIENE
1. Properly sited sanitary latrines reduce the spread of series disease. DO use latrines.
2. If sanitary latrines are not available, DO NOT defecate or urinate on the ground near a water supply.
3. If sanitary latrines are not available, DO cover faeces (e.g. with a stone) so that flies cannot feed or breed there.
4. DO NOT allow any trash to be put into a well or other water source.
5. DO keep well buckets and ropes out of the dirt.
6. DO NOT let children play or swing from pump handles or standposts. They may break.
7. DO keep animals away from the water supply site. Put a fence around it, if necessary.
8. DO be sure that there is good drainage around the water supply site. DO clean out the drainage ditch as often as necessary. DO NOT let water collect in pools.
9. DO fill in holes and ditches so that rain water will not accumulate and become a breeding area for mosquitos.
10. DO get rid of trash (e.g. empty tin cans, coconut shells, etc.) where water may collect and become insect breeding places.
11. Piles of trash can be sources of disease spread by insects. DO bury or burn trash or compost it properly.
12. DO conserve water by turning off the tap at a public standpost. DO NOT waste water.
ARE THESE RULES IMPORTANT FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR COMMUNITY?
Personal hygiene means personal habits that lead toward health. These habits concern the cleanliness of your body, your food and your water.
Your communal water supply may not always be clean. In that case, you will want to purify it before using it for drinking or cooking. Purifying your water when necessary is one of the Rules of Personal Hygiene.
Here are some simple methods of water purification.
1. Storage - The 3 Pot System
If water is allowed to stand, many of the harmful micro-organisms which are in it will die because they cannot live in water from a long time. Water purification by storage can be simply done in the home by using three pots of water.
The 3-Pot System of Water Storage
* COMMUNITY HEALTH, C.H. Wood, J.P. Vaugham, H. de Glanville; AMREF, Nairobi, Kenya.
Two big pots are used for gathering water on alternate days. The first pot is allowed to stand for 24 hours. Then the clear top water is carefully poured into another smaller pot for drinking and the remaining water is used for washing. When the first pot is empty it is cleaned and refilled and allowed to stand for 24 hours again while the second big pot is used in the same way as the first. In this way, each days water has been standing for 24 hours before it is used.
There are three simple ways to purify water by sterilisation:
a) BOILING of drinking water is the simplest and safest method of sterilisation. Water should be boiled for 5 minutes.
b) CHLORINATION - 1% solutions of chlorine can be used for sterilisation of water. Two drops to a litre of water will provide sterilisation.
c) IODINE is an excellent disinfecting agent which may be bought as 2% tincture of iodine. Two drops are sufficient to disinfect 1 litre of water. Iodine tablets may also be used.
Read and study the RULES OF PERSONAL HYGIENE. These rules will help you, your family and your community remain healthy. Can you add more good rules?
RULES OF PERSONAL HYGIENE
1. DO purify drinking water if the water supply is contaminated. (Use the 3-pot system of water storage or sterilisation.)
2. DO wash water storage containers and dippers often.
3. DO NOT put your fingers into water containers when taking water out.
4. DO make sure that household water containers are emptied at least every 3 days so that mosquitos will not have a chance to breed.
5. DO cover household water containers in order to keep out dirt and insects.
6. DO cover all food in order to keep flies and other disease-carrying insects from contaminating food.
7. DO wash hands after defecation or after handling childrens or babies faeces. Use soap if possible.
8. DO wash hands before preparing or eating food. Use soap.
9. DO bathe frequently in order to prevent skin and eye infections.
1. Do you think the people in your community will believe and follow the RULES OF PERSONAL AND COMMUNAL HYGIENE?
Talk about each rule. Decide these things:
1) Is this rule important in our community?
Why or why not?
2) Will the people of our community believe in this rule?
3) Will the people have to change old habits or beliefs in order to obey this rule?
4) What should be done to educate people about this rule?
How can it be done?
When can it be done?
Who can do it?
5) Should be make a strong effort to enforce this rule?