W4 Taking a health walk

SanitationHygieneWater and sanitation

In this Guide we will learn many useful messages that we can share with people to help them to live healthier lives. It is very helpful to first find out as much as possible about what people normally do, to make sure our messages are appropriate.

Plan to take a ‘health walk’ together. Plan a walk that follows a fairly straight line for about half a kilometre through an area where many people live, avoiding main roads. If there are many people in the group divide into smaller groups and take different routes. Use the simple chart as a reminder of the health risks we have just learned about from microbes in faeces. Note on the chart all the things people do that could result in diarrhoea and other diseases. Greet people and ask about where they obtain water and whether they have access to a latrine. However, be very careful not to cause offence by asking personal questions. Just make observations about availability and use of latrines, ease of hand washing, flies and household water supplies.

Share these observations, and any other knowledge we have of the local situation, together.

Discussion 

  • Did you learn anything new or surprising from taking this health walk?
  • Combine all the information gathered into one chart. What are the major concerns for health and well-being in our community?
  • Do most people believe their water supplies are safe to drink?
  • How many people have good access to a latrine? Do they use it regularly?
  • How do people dispose of faeces from young babies and children?
  • When and how do people wash their hands? Do they use soap?
  • Is food always protected from flies?
  • Are cooking utensils and dishes stored off the ground?
  • People usually have good reasons for their behaviour. How can we understand the reasons why people might prefer to use open ground to using a latrine, for example? Do men, women and children have different practices?