Tag Archives: vaccination

Innovative approaches to sustain handwashing with soap and open defecation free status in rural communities in Tanzania

By SSH4A Tanzania

In Tanzania, SNV has developed, under the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene For All programme, two innovative approaches to sustain handwashing with soap and open defecation free status in rural communities. These are triggering with soap at vaccination centres and Jirani (neighbours) sanitation groups.

The first intervention consists of triggering at vaccination centres as they were found to be ideal places to raise awareness of the importance of washing hands with soap among pregnant women, mothers and other caregivers.

The second intervention is based on having neighbours who monitor the sanitation and hygiene progress of the households closest to their homes and sensitise other neighbours on the importance of building, taking care of, and improving sanitation and handwashing facilities.

The following case studies provide practical information for implementing the interventions, and brief discussions on the remaining challenges and lessons learned by the SNV team and their partners on the ground:

SSH4A Tanzania, 2019. Emotional demonstrations (emo-demos) of handwashing with soap at vaccination centres. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: SNV Tanzania. 8 p. Download case study

SSH4A Tanzania, 2019. Jirani sanitation groups : sustaining open defecation free status in Tanzania. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: SNV Tanzania Download case study


Haiti: disease model predicts more cholera and potential impact of clean water

The number of Haitians infected with cholera may reach 779,000 by the end of November 2011, nearly twice as many as UN estimates, according to a new study [1].

The UN estimate is “essentially a guess, based on no data, and ignoring the dynamics of cholera epidemics” co-author Dr. Jason Andrews told SciDev.Net.

Using a mathematical model of the epidemic, the study projects 779 000 cases of cholera and 11,100 deaths between March 1 and November 30, 2011, if there are no new interventions to curb transmission and treat victims.

The researchers estimate that 170,000 cases of cholera and 3,400 deaths could be averted by a combination of clean water, vaccination and greater distribution of antibiotics.

A 1% per week reduction in consumption of contaminated water would the greatest effect by averting 105,000 cholera cases and 1,500 deaths. Vaccination of 10% of the population would avert 63,000 cases and 900 deaths. The extension of the use of antibiotics to all patients with severe dehydration and half of patients with moderate dehydration would avert 9,000 cases and 1,300 deaths.

Andrews told SciDev.Net that the interventions could be achieved if the international community was willing to invest in them.

But Marcos Espinal, head of health surveillance, disease prevention and control at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), defended the UN’s approach. He told SciDev.Net that “the model used up to now is consistent with reality. We have seen just over 250,000 people with cholera in six months”.

A cholera epidemic broke out in Haiti in late October 2010, in the wake of the earthquake in January of the same year. The latest UN figures for the epidemic, published on 31 March 2011, are 267,224 cases, 4,749 deaths and a mortality rate of 1,8%.

[1] Andrews, J.R. and Basu, S. (2011). Transmission dynamics and control of cholera in Haiti : an epidemic model. The Lancet, 16 March 2011 (Article in Press). DOI: (free registration is required to view this article)

Source: María Elena Hurtado, SciDev.Net, 28 March 2011

Bangladesh: some 22 million children immunised against polio

Health experts in Bangladesh have successfully immunised 22 million under-five children [or about 97 percent of that age group] against polio. […] Polio (poliomyelitis) is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus [that] enters the body through the mouth, or in water or food that has been contaminated with faecal material from an infected person. The disease mainly affects younger children.

“We hope we will be able to make Bangladesh polio-free by 2011,” Salma Begum, a local field worker told IRIN in a suburb of Dhaka, adding that there had not been a single case of polio in the country since November 2006.

Field workers from the government’s health and family planning department, along with 600,000 volunteers administered the oral polio vaccines (OPVs) to children on 29 November at 140,000 sites across the country, followed by a four-day house-to-house search to ensure that no child was left out.

[…] [The immunisation campaign was] part of Bangladesh’s current (17th) national immunisation day (NID), with each one receiving two drops of OPV and a vitamin A capsule as part of the first round of the campaign. Vitamin A is given to children to bolster their immune system against diseases such as measles, diarrhoea and night blindness.

[…] The government of Bangladesh, with support from UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carried out the campaign.

[…] Bangladesh launched the drive to immunise all under-five children when, after a lapse of five years, a case of polio was detected in March 2006.

[…] Measles and diarrhoea contribute to over 25 percent of deaths among children aged 1-5 in Bangladesh, UNICEF has reported.

Source: IRIN, 01 Dec 2008