Category Archives: Sanitation and Health

Aditi Gupta Is Breaking Menstrual Taboos Through Her Comic Book Guide, Menstrupedia

Aditi Gupta Is Breaking Menstrual Taboos Through Her Comic Book Guide, Menstrupedia. India Times, January 18, 2017.

“Chumming” is one of the most natural biological processes that half of the world’s population experiences every month, yet most of us in India can’t gather enough courage to put away the euphemism and say the word, period. menstrupedia_1484728044

For many women in India and South Asia, being on their periods is a nightmare. Some are shunned from the kitchen, others are shunned from their home altogether. Other than the social stigma attached to menstruation, there is also a lack of awareness and sanitation, which then paves way for period myths and misconceptions.

According to Dasra, an organisation documenting the rights and welfare of women, 88% of India’s 355 million menstruating women do not have access to sanitary pads. Also, an estimated 23% of girls in the country drop out of school when they begin menstruating.

Read the complete article.

UNESCO funds Dunedin shadow puppet film in Indonesia about hygiene

Published on Jan 16, 2017
UNESCO along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are financially backing a trans-Tasman project to improve hygiene in Indonesia.

An educational film is being made in Dunedin featuring Javanese shadow puppets who tell the tale of evil bacteria.

Today some top musicians began adding the soundtrack.

 

USAID – Infographic: Tackling Water Scarcity and Sanitation Challenges Across the Middle East

Infographic: Tackling Water Scarcity and Sanitation Challenges Across the Middle East, December 15, 2016. USAID. MENA_Water_infographic-V3.png

The American people, through USAID, have been investing in the water sector across the Middle East to improve access to clean water, reduce water losses, facilitate sustainable use of limited resources and improve access to sanitation.

Egypt
2.2 Million People – Since 2008, USAID invested in water systems and wastewater treatment plants, helping 2.2 million people gain access to clean water and sanitation.

850 Kilometers of Water Pipelines – Since 2012, USAID funded construction of 850+ kilometers of pipelines that serve 1.8+ million people in rural areas –many of whom received access to drinking water and sanitation for the first time.

Capacity Building – USAID supported billing and operation systems to strengthen and build the capacity of institutions.

Read the complete article.

Slum health is not urban health: why we must distinguish between the two

Slum health is not urban health: why we must distinguish between the two. Econo Times, January 8, 2017.

We live in an urban century. Already more than 50% of the global population lives in urban areas. The United Nations estimates that by 2030 five billion of the world’s population of eight billion will be urban. Most of the growth in urban areas is expected to occur in the developing countries of Africa and Asia, continuing a trend seen in the past decade.

Rapid urbanisation in developing countries has been characterised by an accompanying proliferation of slum areas. Cities such as Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are home to some of the world’s largest slum areas. Sub-Saharan Africa has an especially high number of slum inhabitants: 62% of its urban population lives in slums.

Slums constitute a large part of today’s urban reality and will likely persist as a significant feature in our urban future for decades to come. By 2030, projections indicate that two billion of the global urban population will live in slums, mostly in Africa and Asia.

Despite increased global awareness about the presence and persistence of slums, the health of their inhabitants is a little-studied phenomenon. The health of the urban poor, people with low socio-economic status living in urban areas, is usually conflated with that of slum dwellers. However, health outcomes for these two groups of urban populations often differ given the spatial differences of the areas they live in.

Slums are characterised by densely packed settlements with inadequate provision of services and infrastructure. These include sanitation, water, electricity, waste management and security among others. These conditions expose residents of slum areas to the spread of disease and poor health outcomes that are fuelled by their intimately shared environments.

Neighbourhood effects

The mechanism through which densely packed environments affect slum residents’ health is termed neighbourhood effects.

The influence of neighbourhood effects may result in poor health outcomes for slum inhabitants in comparison to non-slum dwellers. Studies done by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) have shown that child mortality is higher in slums than in non-slum areas and even in rural regions.

Residents of slums are also likely to experience higher rates of undernutrition compared to those from non-slum areas. This may lead to stunted growth and development among children. There tends to be a high transmission rate of infectious diseases in these overcrowded areas because waste collection, water and sanitation are lacking.

Read the complete article.

Why has Zimbabwe banned street food?

Why has Zimbabwe banned street food? TRT World, January 9, 2017.

The government is trying to control a typhoid outbreak caused by poor sanitation and unregulated water supplies. The ban on street food has been put in place to prevent the water-borne disease from spreading. 

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Under the ban, food, including fruit and vegetable, can no longer be sold at road side stalls.

How does the ban work?

The ban was imposed in Zimbabwe’s capital and most populous city, Harare.

Under the ban, food, including fruits and vegetables, can no longer be sold at road side stalls.

But the implementation of the order maybe a problem as the city does not have the capacity or the manpower to enforce the ban, a local government official said.

“The city of Harare itself also needs a very strong environment division. I think this has been absent and the municipal police must also do their work. I think those two, if we can have the right skills in those sectors, we should have order in Harare,” Zimbabwe’s Minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere said.

Read the complete article.

Appraising the Sanitation and Hygiene Situation in Urban India and its Determinants

Published on Dec 15, 2016
Dr Papiya Guha Mazumdar, Associate Professor, Institute of Public Health Kalyani, West Bengal delivered lecture and highlighted the need to improve existing sanitation and hygiene situation in urban India, how the determinants should be decided and why behaviour change as a critical determinant needs to be looked at in greater detail.

She emphasized that building knowledge on good practices of sanitation and hygiene related behaviour change, and drawing relevant lessons for preparing a plan of action for sustainable development is extremely important. She discussed through a few good case studies how interventions have helped.

 

Is Exposure to Animal Feces Harmful to Child Nutrition and Health Outcomes? A Multicountry Observational Analysis

Is Exposure to Animal Feces Harmful to Child Nutrition and Health Outcomes? A Multicountry Observational Analysis. Amer Jnl Trop Med & Hyg, Dec 2016.

Authors: Derek Headey, Phuong Nguyen, et . al.

It has recently been hypothesized that exposure to livestock constitutes a significant risk factor for diarrhea and environmental enteric disorder in young children, which may significantly contribute to undernutrition. To date, though, very little research has documented the extent of exposure to animal feces and whether this exposure is associated with child anthropometry in large samples and diverse settings.

This study investigates these issues using data from the Alive and Thrive study conducted in rural areas of Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. These surveys used spot-checks to collect data on proxies of hygiene behaviors such as the cleanliness of mothers, young children, and the homestead environment, including the presence of animal feces. Animal feces were visible in 38–42% of household compounds across the three countries and were positively associated with household livestock ownership and negatively associated with maternal and child cleanliness.

One-sided tests from multivariate least squares models for children 6–24 months of age indicate that the presence of animal feces is significantly and negatively associated with child height-for-age z scores in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and in a pooled sample, but not in Vietnam.

There is also suggestive evidence that animal feces may be positively associated with diarrhea symptoms in Bangladesh. The results in this article, therefore, contribute to a growing body of evidence suggesting that animal ownership may pose a significant risk to child nutrition and health outcomes in developing countries.