Good health is a great blessing. None of us enjoy feeling unwell. We have all had times of feeling unwell. Sometimes this is because we catch an infectious disease such as flu, TB or measles. Sometimes we get malaria after a mosquito bite. However, there are many times when we feel ill because we suffer from diarrhoea. Each year there are over four billion cases of diarrhoea, mostly among children.

Each year over 1.7 million children die as a result of diarrhoea. Faeces and urine are waste products from our bodies. Many people do not realise that our faeces are full of tiny microbes that can cause diarrhoea and other diseases. Children’s faeces have many more microbes than adult faeces. We can carry these microbes on our hands. They can also be spread by flies or through our drinking water. Even if our hands look clean, we cannot see the microbes. Washing our hands with soap will remove these microbes.

There are many other ways in which we can support each other to keep our families healthy. These include having safe drinking water, practicing good hygiene, eating well-prepared nutritious food and safely disposing of faeces and other wastes. 

Discussion
  • How important is it to keep ourselves and our families healthy?
  • What do people traditionally believe about the causes of diarrhoea?
  • How many people in our community, including children, do we know who have suffered from diarrhoea during this year?
  • What traditional customs do we have that encourage healthy living?
  • How can we help to keep our families healthy?
  • Faeces are a dangerous waste product from our bodies. Can we think of any other kind of waste products from local industries that are also dangerous? How do people prevent themselves and others from being harmed by such waste products?