Vegetable seed request
Thank you for Paso a Paso (Spanish translation of Footsteps). The articles are of great interest for all of us. Issue No 9 on sanitation has been particularly useful to us because our health committee is supervising a programme of latrine-building. The clear examples of the construction of the different types of latrine have been very helpful.
A programme to improve nutrition in our community was begun recently. We were given a donation of vegetable seeds which we have already harvested with very good results. I would like information about any foundation or association which could help us with free vegetable seeds. Please send information to this address.
We hope future issues of Paso a Paso will have more articles related to agriculture. We send our greetings to all those who make this magazine possible.
Celso Antonio Rios Mendoza, San Jose del Progreso, Tutepec, Oaxaca, Codigo Postal 72800, Mexico
Editor...Jim Rowland suggests you could begin by collecting your own seed. Leave a few of the best plants for a second season and collect the seed. (Do not collect seed from hybrid varieties.
Recently we held a workshop on making puppets. Some of our health workers have now started a puppet theatre group which we are all enjoying. They make puppets out of local materials such as grass, wood and scraps of material and write their own stories. At the moment they are using the plays to start discussions about mixing porridge with pounded pumpkin leaves to improve the nutrition of children.
The puppet plays are really good at bringing health ideas to the people in a different way. Both the audience and the players really enjoy puppet theatre. The group have already been invited to perform their plays in the hospital and local schools. The puppets they use are really easy to make and cost nothing. Maybe our experience will give other health workers some ideas.
Marzella Wüstefeld, INRP Nutrition Projekt, PO Box 730098, Kawambwa, Zambia
CEDER is a Christian group in Zaire, working to educate and animate communities with a range of activities in agriculture, water supplies, natural family planning, nutrition and AIDS control. The copies of Pas à Pas which we receive are well used. I enclose a photo of a recent seminar on nutrition which CEDER ran, assisted by Tear Fund Holland.
Mbioka M Malusala, Director of CEDER, BP 46, Tshela/Maduda
Disposal of hospital waste
Are any Footsteps readers able to help our problems over safely disposing of waste? Here in Patan hospital, Nepal, we have over 200 kg of waste material each day, including sharps, needles and biological material. At present we bury this waste material in pits, but we are afraid that sooner or later someone will discover the site of our pits and start recycling the material - with all the dangers of the spread of disease, including AIDS and hepatitis, that this might mean.
We have a British-made incinerator, which we cannot afford to run because of the huge cost of diesel fuel. A locally built fireplace burns so badly that it is not even able to burn the waste paper properly! I know of other smaller hospitals and clinics in Nepal with the same problem. Ideas or reference material needed urgently!
Dr Andrew Mason, Patan Hospital, Lagankhel, Lalitpur, PO Box 252, Kathmandu, Nepal