Category Archives: Hygiene Promotion

Valerie Curtis – Don’t Look, Don’t Touch! Brains and behaviour from a disgust perspective

Don’t Look, Don’t Touch! Brains and behaviour from a disgust perspective, by Valerie Curtis, Ph.D. | Source/complete article: Psychology Today.

Valerie-Curtis

Valerie Curtis, Ph.D., is a Disgustologist and Director of the Hygiene Centre at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Disgust Has Us in Its Grip – Five things disgust tells us about ourselves 

Disgust is one of our most powerful emotions, it drives what we do in the privacy of our homes, as well as out in the world. It drives our most intimate habits, our social interactions and our moral judgement. Yet it’s still not very well understood. That’s a pity, because disgust can teach us a lot about ourselves. Here’s five things we can learn from disgust:

1. Brains are for behaviour.

You may think that your brain is for thinking, for cogitating, for solving problems. But thinking is only the icing on the cake. Brains evolved because they made the animals that were our ancestors behave in ways that got them what they needed. One fundamental need of all animals is to not get eaten. Hence all animals have behavioural strategies to keep safe from predators. The brain system that drives such behaviour is called FEAR. But it’s not just predators that want to eat you. Billions of microbes and parasites want a free meal and a free ride out of you too. The brain system that keeps us away from these micro-predators is called DISGUST. Our brains instinctively recognise yucky, smelly, sticky, contaminated stuff as potentially risky and the disgust system in the brain dictates the appropriate behaviour: ‘Don’t look, don’t touch, don’t eat!’ Brains evolved to make us do such tasks (others include nurturing, hoardingpair bonding and status seeking) without invoking conscious, rational calculation. Our brains are for behaviour.

2. You are disgusting.

Unpleasant as it may be to contemplate, you are a walking mass of infectious material. You are home to billions of microbes, millions of worms and plenty of other parasitic creatures. You are therefore a disease threat to other people and, hence, you are disgusting. (So am I!). But being disgusting is a bit of a problem for a social species like ourselves. How to get all the benefits of cooperating with friends and acquaintances, alike, without turning them off you? The answer is simple – good manners. You learnt from your Mom and your mates at an early age not to wear stinky clothes, to breathe in someone’s face, to wee in their front room or to offer them your dirty towel. If you did they’d be disgusted, and you’d lose an ally. Because you are disgusting you have good manners and that’s how you tip the balance between being disgusting and being accepted as a member of society.

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Can you imagine not being able to go to school because you’re on your period?

Can you imagine not being able to go to school because you’re on your period? | Source/complete article: Women24, Feb 10, 2014.

Excerpt - Sue Barnes’ Project Dignity allows girls and young women in townships and rural areas to keep attending school while they’re menstruating. 

Sue Barnes displays the Subz panty pack she has designed for girls who cannot afford sanitary products. Picture: Marilyn Bernard

Sue Barnes displays the Subz panty pack she has designed for girls who cannot afford sanitary products. Picture: Marilyn Bernard

Sue Barnes, founder of Project Dignity, a remarkable initiative for South African school girls, has been recognised as the 2013 Clarins Most Dynamic Woman of the Year.

Barnes, from Cowies Hill in KwaZulu-Natal, founded the project after she learned how many girls in poor communities skip school while they menstruate.

Lacking money to buy sanitary products, many South African school girls don’t attend class during menstruation.

They also put themselves at risk of infection by using unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads, such as newspaper or even sand and leaves. As a result, millions of girls miss up to a quarter of their school days.

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UNICEF – Handwashing Promotion: Monitoring and Evaluation Module

Handwashing Promotion: Monitoring and Evaluation Module, 2013. UNICEF.

Prepared by Jelena Vujcic, MPH and Pavani K. Ram, MD, University at Buffalo. UNICEF-M&E-Toolkit-Final-11-24-Low-Res-10

This guide will walk you through planning and implementing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for your handwashing promotion programme. Programmes that promote handwashing are diverse and vary in scope. The content of this module is designed to be adapted to a variety of programmes. In this guide, you will be introduced to:

  • The 7 major steps of monitoring and evaluating handwashing promotion.
  • Choosing indicators appropriate to the programme’s objectives.
  • Collecting the necessary data, and sample questions for indicators relevant to handwashing advocacy, education and behaviour change.
  • Health impact measurement and caveats for the inclusion of health impact assessment as part of an M&E plan.

Cairo: Finding its own way in waste collection

Cairo: Finding its own way in waste collection – Danish Architecture Centre | Source/complete article: Sustainable Cities, Jan 2014

Excerpts – For decades, much of Cairo’s waste has been resourcefully collected and reused by a poor working class known as the Zabbaleen. After a failed attempt to modernise and sanitize this system by bringing in foreign waste-collecting companies, some major advantages to developing a sustainable, economically logical and uniquely Cairo waste-collecting system have become clear.

Skraldebyen Ezbet El Nakhl, Af Creap, 9. maj 2005, Flickr, Creative Commons, Foto # 13067241

Skraldebyen Ezbet El Nakhl, Af Creap, 9. maj 2005, Flickr, Creative Commons, Foto # 13067241

Since the 1950′s, a group of lower class garbage collectors known as the Zabbaleen have wandered the city of Cairo, Egypt, using donkey carts to pick up waste left on the streets. After bringing this waste to their homes that collectively make up Cairo’s “garbage city” the waste it is sorted and eventually turned into quilts, rugs, pots, paper, livestock food, compost, recycled plastic products such as clothes hangers, and much more. Reusing and recycling about 85% of all waste that they collect, the Zabbaleen have far surpassed the efficiencies of even the best Western recycling schemes, which, under optimal conditions, have only been able to reuse 70% of all material.

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How to Trigger for Handwashing with Soap

How to Trigger for Handwashing with Soap.  Frontiers of CLTS:  Innovations and Insights, Issue 02, January 2014.

Author: Jolly Ann Maulit for UNICEF Malawi Frontiers

The Open Defecation Free (ODF) Malawi 2015 Strategy and National Hand Washing Campaign have been contributing to an increased focus on handwashing with soap (HWWS) in Malawi. This is a very positive development!

Some studies estimate that washing hands with soap can reduce diarrhoeal disease rates by up to 50 per cent and respiratory disease rates by up to 25 per cent. This makes handwashing with soap one of the most cost-effective interventions for reducing illness and preventable deaths among children in Malawi. It is therefore quite worthwhile for us to be working together to increase handwashing practices.

Since Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is our key intervention for sanitation and hygiene promotion in Malawi, it provides an excellent opportunity to facilitate handwashing behaviour change. However, up till now, the ‘triggering tools’ for achieving HWWS behaviour change from CLTS have not been well known by implementers in Malawi. The purpose of this document is to outline several practical tools which can be used as a part of CLTS in order to trigger realisation among communities of the importance of handwashing with soap, as well as eliminating open defecation.

 

 

 

Impact of WASH in improving health of school children reviewed

More attention should be given to the assessment of nutrition practices when assessing the impact of WASH on the health of school children. We also don’t know enough about the long term impact of WASH interventions on child health. These are some of the conclusions that researchers from the Center for Global Health and Development at the the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) drew from a review of the literature [1].

Dr. Ashish Joshi and research assistant Chioma Amadi reviewed the impact of water treatment, hygiene, and sanitary interventions on improving child health outcomes such as absenteeism, infections, knowledge, attitudes, and practices and adoption of point-of-use water treatment.  For their final analysis they selected 15 peer-reviewed English-language studies published between 2009 and 2012 that focused on the effects of access to safe water, hand washing facilities, and hygiene education among school-age children.

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Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar UNICEF ambassador for hygiene & sanitation in South Asia

Recently-retired Indian cricket legend SachinTendulkar has become UNICEF Ambassador for South Asia to promote hygiene and sanitation in the region over the next two years.

“I was disheartened to know was that 1600 children die everyday because of diarrhoeal infected diseases”, Tendulkar said at a press conference on 28 November in Mumbai. “I just want to help UNICEF to make more people aware of this initiative that I am part of. It is as simple as washing your hands with soap”.

A video compilation highlights Tendulkar’s involvement in UNICEF campaigns over the past ten years on issues including polio, HIV/AIDS and handwashing.

Source: UNICEF, 28 Nov 2013 ; Times of India, 28 Nov 2013

“We Can’t Wait”, say WSSCC, Unilever and WaterAid on World Toilet Day

We Can’t Wait – Governments, civil society and business should work together to tackle sanitation for women’s health; say Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Unilever and WaterAid

Dowwload the report here. 

ImageA collaborative approach between governments, civil society and business is essential to getting the Millennium Development Goal sanitation target back on track. This is critical to improve the health and prosperity of women worldwide, says a new report jointly published by the United Nations hosted organisation Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, international development organisation WaterAid and Unilever’s leading toilet brand Domestos.

The report, We Can’t Wait, was presented today at a UN event in New York which celebrates recognition of the first official World Toilet Day. The day serves to remind the world that over 2.5 billion people lack access to an adequate toilet, with devastating consequences in particular for the well-being, health, education and empowerment of women and girls worldwide.

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SuperAmma campaign for changing hand washing behavior

Launched by the London School of  Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and others the SuperAmma campaign is the culmination of years of behavioural science research to inculcate the habit of handwashing with soap. We designed a superamma communication campaign based on the Evo-Eco theory of behaviour change.

Here we make available the approach and the materials that worked successfully in Southern India to inspire and assist you in your behaviour change campaign.

Annotated Bibliography of 2013 Handwashing Studies

An Annotated Bibliography of 2013 Handwashing Studies

This annotated bibliography was compiled by WASHplus and contains citations and abstracts to 20 peer-review handwashing studies that were published from January through September 2013. Links are also provided to the abstract or full-text for each article. Please email WASHplus if you have additional studies to include. somalia

JOURNAL ARTICLES, BY PUBLICATION DATE

SEPTEMBER 2013

1 — Handwashing before Food Preparation and Child Feeding: A Missed Opportunity for Hygiene Promotion. Am J Trop Med Hyg, Sep 2013. F Nizame. (Abstract)
From 50 randomly selected villages in Bangladesh, we collected quantitative and qualitative data on handwashing linked to child feeding to integrate handwashing promotion into a young child complementary feeding program. Most participants cited the unavailability of soap and water near the cooking place as a barrier to handwashing before food preparation. Most caregivers ranked nurturing messages as the best motivator to encourage handwashing with soap.

2–Designing a Handwashing Station for Infrastructure-Restricted Communities in Bangladesh Using the Integrated Behavioural Model for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions (IBM-WASH). BMC Public Health, Sep 2013. K Hulland. (Full text)
Handwashing stations — a dedicated, convenient location where both soap and water are available for handwashing — are associated with improved handwashing practices. Our aim was to identify a locally feasible and acceptable handwashing station that enabled frequent handwashing for two subsequent randomized trials testing the health effects of this behaviour. Factors that influenced selection of candidate designs were market availability of low cost, durable materials that were easy to replace or replenish in an infrastructure-restricted and shared environment. Water storage capacity, ease of use and maintenance, and quality of materials determined the acceptability and feasibility of specific handwashing station designs. A number of contextual, psychosocial and technological factors influence use of handwashing stations at five aggregate levels, from habitual to societal.

3–A Qualitative Evaluation of Hand Drying Practices among Kenyans. PLoS One, Sept 2013. B Person. (Full text)
Recommended disease prevention behaviors of hand washing, hygienic hand drying, and covering one’s mouth and nose in a hygienic manner when coughing and sneezing appear to be simple behaviors but continue to be a challenge to successfully promote and sustain worldwide. We conducted a qualitative inquiry to better understand current hand drying behaviors associated with activities of daily living, and mouth and nose covering practices, among Kenyans. We conducted 7 focus group discussions; 30 in-depth interviews; 10 structured household observations; and 75 structured observations in public venues in the urban area of Kisumu; rural communities surrounding Kisumu; and a peri-urban area outside Nairobi, Kenya. Using a grounded theory approach, we transcribed and coded the narrative data followed by thematic analysis of the emergent themes. Hand drying, specifically on a clean towel, was not a common practice among our participants. Most women dried their hands on their waist cloth, called a leso, or their clothes whether they were cooking, eating or cleaning the nose of a young child. If men dried their hands, they used their trousers or a handkerchief.

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