Filtered by: Preventative healthcare <Back to previous page A childrens initiativeTreatment of leg ulcers by Dr Sherri Kirkpatrick. Children in many Third World countries suffer from painful leg ulcers. One group of school-age children in Chiba, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, decided to take action and asked for help. Some of the children had legs covered with scars from previous ulcers – sometimes their legs were either deformed or crippled from the effects. All suffered pain from current weeping leg ulcers. The children knew that the Community Health Workers ... A comprehensive rural health projectWhen Drs Rajanikant and Mabelle Arole graduated from medical school they were both concerned about the medical care of the rural population of India. They went to work in a rural hospital. After five years they realised that despite all their hard work in caring for hospital patients, the general health of the community around had not improved. They realised their need for training in public health and returned to college for further study. A real success storyby Renu Sherchan. The nutrition worker entered the small village house and found what looked like a living skeleton. His name was Som Bahadur Tamang. He was five years old. His mother had left him when he was ten months old and his father was struggling to raise him. Adding nutritional value to foodIncreasing the nutritional value of available food is often easy to do at low cost, simply by combining foods and fruits in different ways. Here are some useful ideas to improve nutrition for both children and adults. Adding value through storageEffective storage of food helps provide security and nutrition for households. It also enables food to be sold at higher market prices once the harvest period is past. Adding value to fruitsMost people enjoy eating ripe fruit such as mangoes, oranges, bananas and guavas. Children enjoy the taste so much that they will often eat unripe fruit! However, ripe fruit does not store well or travel well to distant markets. Other people’s fruit usually ripens at the same time, so market prices fall, making it hard to sell at a good price. Preserving fruit to enjoy its flavour throughout the year is therefore very important to avoid wastage and increase income. The simplest ways of ... Alcohol and advertisingAdvertisements shape what we think and how we feel. They sell more than the product itself. They sell ideas or messages that encourage people to buy the product. Companies that produce alcohol spend a lot of time and money creating images that make drinking alcohol seem attractive. The message they give is that alcohol will make life better. Bele a little known vegetable with huge potentialby Nicky Davison. Bible studiesThese Bible studies are designed to use in small groups. They may provide a useful introduction to a meeting where different topics from the Guide… Bible study: God's provision of healthy foodGod’s provision of healthy food. Read Genesis 1:11-13 and Genesis 1:29-31. How does God provide for our need to eat? Chellas Periwinkle“Don’t Forget the Periwinkle for Chella Devi!” This note is up on the notice-board to remind Monika to collect the leaves of the plant each Friday. It grows well outside our SHARE centre here in Mussoorie. Children a new secret forceChildren are proving to be a new force in the move to protect babies from diseases and to stamp out polio. Churchbased approaches to HIV preventionby Rev Dr David Evans. Community links for sustainable healthcare - part 2by Dr Shobha Arole. The impact of sustainable, community-based healthcare has been studied recently at the Comprehensive Rural Health Project in Jamkhed, North India, through a one-year study in three villages nearby. Cooking with cassava leavesWhile reading Footsteps 43 on encouraging change, a reader from Kenya wondered whether cassava leaves are edible. Two people have responded with recipes. Mr Gilbert comments, ‘The majority of people in our country (Democratic Republic of Congo) eat them as basic green vegetables.’ He shares the most common method used in the Bunia region where he lives. Mr Ramampiandra of Madagascar says that cassava leaves are widely used in his country. Cooking without fuelTraditional cooking methods, using firewood and charcoal, prove more and more time consuming for women around the world as reserves of fuel trees are used up. Women find they either have to walk further to collect enough wood for cooking the family meal, or else buy expensive paraffin. The use of fireless cookers is not a new idea, but often the ideas are presented in ways which seem alien to people. Fireless cookers are unlikely to replace traditional methods of cooking, but they can be a very ... Coping with droughtby Pukuta N Mwanza. Luangwa and Gwembe are two regions of Zambia which have been severely affected by five years of continuous drought. These droughts have left farmers poorer than before because they have been forced to sell their assets – livestock, equipment – and use up their savings to survive. Discussing condomsThe issue of condom use can be controversial and difficult to discuss. Condoms are often wrongly associated only with promiscuity or sex work, so using condoms carries stigma. Christians should value life and reflect God’s love and care for all people. Sharing information about appropriate condom use can help save lives. Condom use is recommended to protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, if either partner may be at risk. Dried moringa leavesPrevious issues of Footsteps have mentioned the value of the moringa tree as a fast-growing tree for agroforestry, a good source of nutritious green leaves and beans and, in particular, the ability of moringa oil from the seeds to purify water. Researchers have now found another use for this tree. If the leaves are first dried (see drier on page 16) then powdered using a pestle and mortar, they can be stored in plastic bags or glass jars for several months. Early child careby Dr Patrice Engle. EditorialOur health is affected by what we eat. Without a healthy, balanced diet, we will not have healthy bodies able to fight off diseases. In this issue we are looking at ideas to help with farming for better nutrition. EditorialMost health workers would agree that working with mothers and children is the most important part of health work in a community. This is because the health needs of mothers and children are especially great and because mothers with children make up over half the population. In this issue we can only look at a few of the many subjects concerning mother and child health. But we hope that this issue will bring some helpful new ideas to discuss and try out. Let us know of other subjects you ... EditorialThere is a huge difference between telling someone to do something because it is good for them and explaining clearly why something is good for them so they can make up their own minds. Most people are aware of the importance of immunization. In this issue we try and explain the reasons behind immunization as well as giving some practical help with carrying out an immunization programme. EditorialMalaria threatens 40% of the world’s population and kills about 2.5 million people every year. Most are children under five or pregnant women. In sub-Saharan Africa an estimated 70 million pre-school age children are at risk of dying of malaria. In addition, malaria among adults affects their ability to do productive work. All this means malaria is one of the biggest public health problems in many developing countries. Like the other diseases that we look at in this issue, malaria is ... Encouraging young children to eatby Ann Burgess. The amount children eat depends on the food they are offered, their appetite and how their mothers or other carers feed them F21 Fruit trees All kinds of fruit trees can be grown near crops. They are often very suitable to plant as boundary trees, near to the home or as small plantations… F22 Moringa a tree with special propertiesMoringa is a small tree with many valuable properties. It grows fast and it continues to grow if cut back. The leaves can be cooked as a green… Feeding young childrenThe three food groups A child’s diet should include food from the three food groups: Energy foods help children play and work. These are staple foods such as maize, rice and plantain, and oils such as vegetable oil and animal fat, and sugar. Feeding young childrenby Ann Ashworth. Good food is important for good health. Children who are well fed during the first two years of life are more likely to stay healthy for the rest of their childhood. During the first six months of a child’s life, breast milk alone is the ideal food. It contains all the nutrients needed for healthy growth as well as immune factors that protect against common childhood infections. Fermentationby Dr Ann Ashworth. The benefits of fermentation have been recognised from the earliest times. There are records of fermented foods being used by the Sumerians, ancient Egyptians, Babylonians and Assyrians. Chinese descriptions of miso from soy sauce go back to 1000 BC. Other foods that are commonly fermented are milk (to make soured milks and yoghurt), cereals and cassava. Food coolersIn high temperatures, cooked meals and fresh food such as meat, fruit or dairy products, will not stay fresh for very long. Food will quickly become unsafe to eat, often after just a few hours. Here are two simple ideas which help to keep food cool – and also covered and free from flies. They cost little to make and will keep food fresh for longer. Gardening for better nutritionby Ian Horne. Small food gardens near the family home have traditionally made an important contribution to family nutrition. Home gardens can help provide variety in the diet and supply vital vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and proteins. Good nutrition helps the body to resist disease, so home gardens help improve family health. Glossaryanaemia a condition often caused by a lack of iron in the diet, so that the blood becomes weak. Other causes are malaria, hookworm, HIV and other… Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hungerThis goal aims to reduce by half the number of people whose income is less than $1 a day, and those who suffer from hunger. Grafting citrus treesMany of the fruits we eat come from trees. Fruits are an important human food, rich in vitamins. Some fruits, such as papaya and passion fruit, grow easily from seed. But if you have tried growing citrus fruit from seeds, you may have been disappointed with the results. Green Mango ChutneyThe hospital of St Francis, Katete, in Zambia’s Eastern Province, is well supplied with mango trees. This is typical of hundreds of other hospitals throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Latin America. What may not be so typical is the waste of mangoes at the beginning of the season. Small boys knock down unripe mangoes by throwing stones or sticks. A few are edible but most are bitten once and them thrown on the ground. A good solution for this waste (and a way of making money) is to use them ... Health services for rich and poorby Dr Apolos B Landa. In our societies, healthcare often becomes a commodity. The rich few can afford good healthcare while the vast majority of people do not have the means to pay – they have no access to healthcare as a basic human right. Is it possible to make healthcare more equal? Healthcare in the Democratic Republic of Congoby Nyangoma Kabarole. Two case studies of health centres – one which inherited a difficult situation and another which is a real success story Healthcare priorities in Marabo villageOur third case study from the Democratic Republic of Congo comes from Marabo, a village of 5,000 people. Though near Nyankunde Christian Centre – a 250 bed hospital – health activities were limited to a poorly attended private health post. There was little support for primary healthcare and only 23% of children were fully immunised. Healthy eating[Health] by Dr Ann Ashworth. The ‘double burden’ of disease Many low- and middle-income countries are facing a ‘double burden’ of disease. They continue to have the old problems of infectious diseases, but at the same time are experiencing a rapid increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Being overweight is one of the underlying factors. Healthy eatingIdeas to help improve household nutrition at low cost – food groups, kitchen gardens, recipes, methods of food preservation and hygiene. Heat exhaustion and heatstrokePeriods of intense heat, known as heatwaves, are becoming more common because of climate change. When it is very hot, people can suffer from health problems such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. How to make jamAll kinds of soft fruit can be used to make jam. If possible, use a book of jam recipes which will tell you exactly how much fruit, sugar and water to use for each different fruit. However, if you cannot find such recipes, here are the general principles of jam making. Ideas for health trainingI'd like to share some training activities which I have developed with the help of village people to encourage discussion on health and nutrition. Immunization The practical detailsExcept where marked otherwise, the diagrams on this page are taken from the book Immunization in Practice produced by WHO. Used with kind permission of Oxford University Press. Impregnated mosquito netsby Dr Chris Curtis. Malaria is caused by parasites (called Plasmodium) which are carried from the blood of one person to that of another by Anopheles mosquitoes (see above). This type of mosquito generally bites late at night, so bednets would be expected to be a good way of protecting against them. However, mosquitoes are very clever at finding holes or other ways into nets and they also bite arms or legs which rest against the net during the night. Improved farming for better nutritionby Martin Rowland. Kagando Rural Development Centre is situated in the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains in Western Uganda. It started as a small hospital in 1965 and has continued to grow and develop since then. Improving food securityby Dr Ruvimbo Mabeza-Chimedza Improving nutrition in Boliviaby Pastor Eduardo Barja Improving the benefits of the food we eatTo add to the nutritional value of a meal, always try to mix the staple food (such as maize, rice, plantain, potato) with some kind of vegetable, beans, meat or nuts as a relish. Even small amounts of relish add taste and nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, protein). Remember that even though women and children may eat less staple food, everyone needs the same amount of relish. Insecticide treated netsby Professor Chris Curtis. Malaria is by far the most important insect-transmitted human disease. Latest WHO estimates are that there are 2.5 million deaths each year from malaria, mainly among African children. Keeping out mosquitoesCcompiled by Uzo Okoli, Rod Mill and Isabel Carter. Keeping mosquitoes out of your home is the most important way of protecting your family from malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. Here are a number of practical steps you can take. Living with diabetes[Health] This article focuses on ‘Type 2 Diabetes’ which in most cases develops in adults due to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. On the centre spread (page 9), you can read about the symptoms and risk fac-tors associated with diabetes. Malaria some new approachesby Dr D C Warhurst. In countries where malaria is very common, many adults may carry the infection without any symptoms, but infants and pregnant women are much more likely to become ill with malaria. Drugs are mainly used to control the illness. However, they can also be used to prevent it for certain high-risk groups such as pregnant women, sickle cell anaemia sufferers and visitors who have no natural immunity. Mucua juiceWe prepare and sell a food product called ‘mucua juice’ which is made from the fruit of the baobab tree, commonly known as ‘imbondeiro’ here. (Its scientific name is Adansonia digitata). This fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. To prepare the juice you will need two large metal containers, two buckets and a sieve. N1 A healthy dietGood food is important for good health. Most people depend on one or two staple foods for much of what they eat. This may be a cereal (such as rice,… N10 Customs and taboosAll cultures have various traditional beliefs and customs concerning food. Sometimes people eat special foods at festivals. Some foods may be avoided… N11 Herbs and spicesHerbs and spices are foods with really strong flavours. Every local area will have some familiar herbs or spices. These may include garlic, ginger,… N12 Doorsized gardensMany homes, particularly in towns and cities, have little or no room for growing vegetables. However, outside many homes is an area of ground that… N13 Fermenting foodsFor many centuries, people have used the technique of fermentation to prepare foods. Examples are fermented maize in Ghana, fermented legumes in Asia… N14 Drying vegetablesMany vegetables, herbs, spices and fruits can be preserved by drying. Tomatoes, onions, chillies and herbs are examples of crops that are easy to dry… N15 Preserving fruitsFruits tend to ripen at the same time of year. For several weeks there may be large amounts of mangoes, guavas or citrus, for example. During the… N16 People with special food needsOur food needs change through our lives. In the first few years of life, plenty of foods for building and protecting the body are necessary to build… N17 BreastfeedingDuring the first six months of a child’s life, breast milk alone is the ideal food. It contains all the nutrients and water needed for healthy… N18 Feeding babiesChildren who are well fed during the first two years of life are more likely to stay healthy for the rest of their childhood. Breast-milk alone can… N19 Improving porridges and soupsPorridges prepared from the staple, and soups, are often used as early complementary foods. However, these are usually watery and contain little… N2 Why we need different foodsThe food we eat has three main functions; to give us energy, to build and repair our bodies and to protect us from disease. Most foods have a mixture… N20 Encouraging young children to eatMealtimes should be happy times and an opportunity for the family to spend time together. Feed young children with the rest of the family but give… N21 Healthy snacksSnacks are foods eaten between meals. Nutritious snacks are an easy way to give a young child extra food. Snacks should be easy to prepare. N22 Fortified foodsFortified foods have special nutrients added by the manufacturers. Sometimes these are added to replace those lost during processing. For example,… N3 Improving a poor dietA healthy diet is directly linked to good health. It is particularly important for pregnant women, babies and young children. Well-nourished babies… N4 Traditional foodsOne hundred years ago, the diet of people in our local area was probably much better and more varied than it is today. This is not because people had… N5 Ideas for using pulsesAll kinds of pulses are excellent sources of nutrients. When dried they can be stored easily for a long time. Pulses should be an important part of… N6 Vegetables and fruitsMany people believe that newly introduced vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage are better than traditional vegetables. In fact the opposite is… N7 Preventing anaemiaAnaemia is one of the most common conditions resulting from a poor diet. It is often caused by a lack of the mineral iron in the diet. Iron is needed… N9 Food hygieneMake sure all pans, dishes and tools used in preparing food are clean. Dry them on a drying rack and avoid using a cloth to dry them. Uncooked meat… Noncommunicable diseases a growing challenge‘The rise of chronic non-communicable diseases presents an enormous challenge … Non-communicable diseases deliver a two-punch blow to economies and development. They cause billions of dollars in losses of national income, and they push millions of people below the poverty line, each and every year.’ Objectives and anticipated outcomesObjectives To increase awareness of the importance of a good diet in maintaining health and resisting disease To build understanding of the… Organising for immunizationby Sandra Michie. The needs Years ago in Zambia our tiny mission hospital was regularly over-filled with epidemic patients. Whooping cough and measles were the two worst and best remembered epidemics. In 1967 at least one child died from measles in every surrounding village. Often three or more died and since villages were very small - often with just one extended family - you can imagine the grief and despair. Posters to encourage group discussionThe ideas for these posters have come from work carried out by Veronika Scherbaum with the Oromo people in South Ethiopia, who have many traditional beliefs concerning mother and child care. Posters can be used to help encourage discussion of what people believe and why. Together this can lead to developing a more positive understanding of healthy mother and child care. Try adapting these posters to use among your community. Reducing risks in the workplaceby Lucas Caldeira ResourcesPILLARS – Healthy Eating This Tearfund guide contains ideas to help improve household nutrition at low cost – food groups, kitchen gardens, recipes, methods of food preservation and hygiene. It explores the importance of a good diet in maintaining health and resisting disease, as well as the nutritional needs of pregnant and breast-feeding mothers, young children and older people. The PILLARS series provides practical, discussion-based learning on community development. The Guides are designed ... Sexually transmitted infectionsDiseases and infections are passed on in different ways. Many, such as colds, influenza or tuberculosis, are passed to other people through the air when infected people sneeze or cough. Some, such as malaria, are passed on to others by mosquitoes. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can only be passed on through sexual relationships. Because of this, people find them very embarrassing to deal with. Often they do not want to seek healthcare and so they suffer in silence. Solar drierThis drier is very effective for drying large quantities of fruit, leaves or herbs. Unlike other driers there is no need to remove the contents when it rains. It also allows fresh material to dry in the shade, thus maintaining high vitamin content. Soya recipe bookThe Soya Nutrition Project has gained great popular support in Zambia. Through our work, soya beans now grow more widely here, and our booklet provides good ideas for growing, cooking and eating soya beans. The 36 page booklet How Can I Cook Soya Beans? costs just $1.00. It is available in English, Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi and Tonga. As an example, here is a recipe for making soya coffee. Staying healthy Reducing your risk of developing noncommunicable diseases[Health] The four main non-communicable diseases (NCDs) share common risk factors. Tobacco use, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Read more about recognising the signs of NCDs and how to help to prevent yourself and others from developing these diseases. The control of TBMany different ideas have been tried or suggested. Some believe that the only hope lies in new drugs and vaccines. However, there are other ways to help improve TB control programmes. Effective treatment for TB was first developed in the 1950s, but it is still often not available to many sufferers around the world. There are three main activities useful in controlling TB in developing countries… The immunisation handMany people have difficulty remembering the schedule for childhood immunisation. This means that children often miss some or all of a series of immunisations that can protect them against polio, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, and other preventable diseases. The importance of soya in human nutritionWe work with a programme aimed at preventing malnutrition in Guayaquil. We encourage the growth and use of soybeans. Though they are not traditionally grown in this area, local people have accepted them readily. Soya is a very useful food, high in protein, which can be substituted for meat, cheese, milk, eggs or fish. Tobacco control at the community level[Community Development] by Dr Nathan Grills In terms of global threats, tobacco is one of the biggest dangers in the world today. In 2010, more than five million people died from the effects of smoking or chewing tobacco. This is not just a disease of the rich. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 per cent of these deaths were in low- and middle-income countries. Tobacco remains the only legally available consumer product that will kill at least a third of all users. Traditional leafy vegetablesby Dr Patrick Maundu. The Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (KENRIK) has documented all food plants in Kenya. Their work shows the potential of indigenous food plants in improving food security. In Africa, around 4,000 species of plants have the potential for producing food, with about 1,000 species used as leafy vegetables. Traditional saltCOMPETITION WINNER by Revd Francis King’ang’a. African traditional salt or lye (uvusaaru) has been used for generations in our area of Western Kenya. In recent years it has been replaced by common table salt. Lye was used for cooking vegetables, soap-making and for some medicinal purposes. Older people believe that using lye for daily cooking helped people to live longer because of its medical benefits. Traditional ways of preparing foodThere is a lot to be learned from previous generations as Professor Andrew Tomkins explains... 1. Fermented foods Understanding Immunizationby Dr Tom Crusz. Years ago, smallpox was a dreaded disease which killed huge numbers of people all over the world. No treatment could be found. People who survived the disease did not catch smallpox again. They had become ‘immune’. Cows also suffered from a form of smallpox called cowpox. An English Doctor, Edward Jenner noticed that people who caught cowpox did not catch smallpox. Update on vitamin ABy Professor Andrew Tomkins. It has been known for many years that Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness. In the early stages, the individual complains of not being able to see well at night (night blindness). As the deficiency develops, the lining of the eye becomes dry and cloudy. Eventually, small ulcers may develop and unless vitamin A is taken quickly, the eye is permanently damaged. Vitamin A deficiency is often brought about by illness, particularly diarrhoea and measles, and is ... Useful resourcesNutrition for Developing Countries by Felicity Savage Kind and Ann Burgess An excellent, detailed and informative book looking at all aspects of good… Water some of the problemsThe World Health Organisation has estimated that 80% of all sickness and disease in the world is caused through lack of clean water and poor sanitation. Weaning practices in Nepalby Sanjay Kumar Nidhi. In Nepal, weaning traditionally begins with the Rice Feeding Ceremony (Pasne) where children receive their first meal. The ceremony is performed at five months of age for a girl and six months for a boy. Wheat bread‘Footsteps 21 showed us how to build a wood stove, but not how to make bread.’ A RECENT READER’S COMMENT Wild edible plants and leafy vegetablesby Dr Angelika Dietz. Wild edible plants and leafy vegetables often make an important contribution to the diet, particularly in a rural population. This can often be overlooked by community workers. The role of wild edible plants in the diet is described here for the subsistence farming community of Magar, living in a remote area of the mid-west region of Nepal.