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|25th January 2009, 07:43 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Mod of Awesome
Join Date: Apr 2005
We were talking about handwashing in the joke section for some silly reason, but that reminds me of some interesting facts on handwashing. In modern societies, we take things for granted, like having soap and water to wash with to prevent common diseases. While we still have problems with break outs of ecoli, mainly from restaurants/fast food, these are preventable and generally curable diseases in the modern societies. So, I'd like to share some facts about third world countries that most people probably wouldn't realize because this doesn't really make the news.
In Bangladesh and Madagascar slums, most women rinse their hands in dirty water or rub them in the dirt after toileting. This causes diarrhoeal disease in thier children. One research study that I really liked showed that 3.5 million children under the age of 5 in third world countries contract fatal diarrhoeal disease. Disease that we don't have in modern societies because we have soap and clean water. This study by Luby and collegues, they went to homes in Pakistan, providng clean water and soap to families, and came back each week to check on the use of soap and water and to remind families how to wash their hands. In these randomized control trial of family homes, there were no incidences of diarrhoeal diseases. I liked this study because instead of just reporting the facts, these guys went to the homes and trained and provided resources for disease prevention. Anyways, it is interesting that the things we take for granted are also the things that other people do not know, or have access to, even when it is something as simple as soap. If I were able to, I'd want to start some form of assistance that provided soap and clean water to the families in need. Unfortunately most can not afford soap and do not have access to clean water.
CDC and USAID (2008) Preventing Diarrheal Disease In Developing Countries: Interventions To Reduce Diarrheal Disease January 2008. [Online] [Accessed 24 November 2008] Cdc And Usaid http://www.ehproject.org/PDF/ehkm/cdc-watsan.pdf
Luby, Stephen; Feilkin, D; Painter J; Billhimer, W.; Altaf, Arshad; And Hoekstra Robert (2005) Effect Of Handwashing On Child Health: A Randomised Controlled Trial. The Lancet Journal Of Infectious Disease. 366(9481), Pages 225 – 233
|25th January 2009, 08:26 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Speaker to Cats
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: UK: ENGLAND:
Which reminds me of possibly apocryphal tale of WHO team who went to an African Rift lake to study ways of controlling the local biting flies and consequent diseases...
After a month or so of taking samples, measurements etc, they went away and began compiling their report. Sadly, they concluded, there was no practicable way to deal with those pernicious swarms...
They were still several weeks from publication of their unhappy report when good news and thanks arrived from the lake: The flies' population had taken a severe hit, the locals were delighted...
Subsequent investigation found the visiting team had used detergent on their slimed and mud-caked clothes and, despite massive dilution, their run-off had drowned most of that season's snorkelling nymphs...
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