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TitleKap study of families residing in SWACH project areas in relation to drinking water, village and home sanitation and incidence of waterborne and common skin diseases
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsMathur, H
Paginationxxii, 140 p. : fig., tab.
Date Published1994-06-15
Keywordsdisease control, dracontiasis, hygiene, india rajasthan, kap surveys, projects, safe water supply, sanitation, sanitation water and community health (swach) project (india), skin infections, water-related diseases

A SWACH (Sanitation Water and Community Health) project to eradicate guineaworm disease in the Udaipur, Banswara and Dungerpur districts of Rajasthan, India, begun in 1986, found that by 1994 the incidence of guineaworm disease had fallen from 10,000 cases to 2 cases. This notable success has been achieved by the implementation of integrated interventions in the field of rural water supply through the introduction of handpumps, conversion of stepwells, environmental sanitation, effective surveillance and health management through the mobilization of tribal beneficiaries, especially women. In order to replicate this success with other waterborne diseases, this study seeks to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of families about drinking water, excreta and refuse disposal, sanitation and personal hygiene practices in order to develop a "preventive presciption" for disease control. This information as well as details about the incidence of waterborne and skin diseases, their infective origin in the families covered by the project and a situational analysis of the villages about drinking water sources and sanitation around them has been collected from 4848 families residing in villages in the area. Particular emphasis is given in the study to sanitary and hygiene practices recognizing their role in the transmission of infectious diseases. The strategy adopted by SWACH, based on community involvement, involves the selection of village level functionaries like scouts, animators and women's groups and local influential people who are trained to implement various health and hygiene promotion programmes in the field. The study suggests that health education would be improved by offering "certificate courses" to health educators to overcome the present patchy training, developing interesting health education tools to suit local needs and local problems, and developing a regular system of health education including impact assessment. Since it is difficult to change established attitudes and practices, the study stresses the need to inculcate safe practices in childhood by including a sound health education system in the school curriculum supported by a condusive environment in schools and homes.

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