This article focuses on water and sanitation and what can be done in order for everyone around the globe to have access to water and sanitation in order to have better hygiene. Adequate sanitation is essential to combating infections yet approximately 1 in 5 people worldwide defecate in the open instead of on a latrine or a toilet. One of the reasons that people defecate outside is because there are no running toilets and water to flush near them. This increases the chances that an individual can get diarrhea. The reason that this is important is because diarrhea kills more kids worldwide than HIV/ AID, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. The article goes on to talk about the benefits of washing your hands with soap and water and the actual benefits that come along with it. “Washing with soap reduces the risk of endemic diarrhoea, and of respiratory and skin infections, while face washing pre- vents trachoma and other eye infections ” (Bartram, 2010). In order to promote a change in behavior, Bartram suggests to create a “fruitful research field” and from a marketing perspective to promote healthy health behaviors to get people involved rather than to use negative connotations such as “Dirty hands cause disease.”
Q 1 Diarrhea kills more kids than HIV, Malaria and tuberculosis combined, why do you think there isn’t the same amount of awareness?
Q 2How would you create more awareness for proper hygiene needs in less developed countries?
Q 3 What would you suggest to combat this sanitation problem?
Two other good sources
In “Menstrual hygiene in South Asia: A neglected issue for WASH program” the researchers state that women in South Asia are sorely lacking in resources, support and knowledge when regarding their menstrual hygiene. One specific area in which they lack support and funding is the WASH program. While it is true that women and young girls are a major group of interest is it proven that there is little to no care for women’s menstrual hygiene. This can be seen in the lack of gender equality, clean water and facilities accessibility, and education. Another reason for such poor handling of menstrual hygiene is the culturally and religious influences sound in South Asia. Due to the fact that in some cultures and religions water is seen as something pure, women are taught to stay away from water during their menstruation because they are seen as “unclean and impure”. Women are also raised to be ashamed of that time of month and can even be forced to live outside the residence, even in the winter. They also have been known to use old rags over and over rather than finding sanitary, or reusable pads. Water is an essential requirement for menstruating hygienically because not only is it important to keep one’s body clean, especially during menstruation, but to also wash the clothes that are used during that time in order to properly get rid of the bacteria. It is also found that overall knowledge is very low as most women do not even understand why they bleed, they simply think that they are shedding bad blood and that is why it is impure and a shameful occurrence for all women. NGO (non-government workers) started plans to expand knowledge through learned women to try to circulate a better reputation but it was very difficult in the beginning and one worker was even stoned by the mother of the young women he was talking to. Things turned around and they were able to build better bathrooms for females only and increased the use of sanitary pads and also helped implement better ways of disposal for those reusable pads. They struggled to get the men, the main decision makers of the families, to join in meetings so that they may also understand so that they would know more about their female family members. The men’s response, as well as the older generations, stated that a women’s menstruation was a religious and cultural problem rather than a health issue. All in All WASH programs where able to greatly increase the availability of healthier tools to help a women menstruate hygienically and slowly but surely, with the help of a few brave outspoken women, increasing the discussion regarding a women’s menstruation and their personal situations. They said that the first step was to start breaking the silence that had surrounded a women’s menstrual cycle for man generations before.
Here are is an article with a short video regarding UNICIEFs research into menstrual hygiene in South Asia: https://washmatters.wateraid.org/blog/how-well-is-south-asia-meeting-the-menstrual-hygiene-needs-of-its-adolescents
Here is an article about the idea and debate about “period leave” in South Asian countries: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/health-environment/article/3100320/period-leave-will-it-end-indias-taboo-or-it-red-flag
How do you think menstruation “culture” is perceived as a worldwide view and does it appear more progressed in certain countries than in others?
Do you believe that it is important to gain the support of men in regard to improving a women’s menstrual hygiene in South Asia? Why and what do you think would be the best route?
In America there is a stereotype that if a women is cranky she “must be on her period”, what do you think are some stereotypes, other than “impure”, that South Asian women face when they attempt to improve the reputation regarding menstruation?
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