Sanitation and hygiene – cornerstones of good health

Oct 31, 2015

Water, sanitation and hygiene belong to the most fundamental human needs and have critical importance for human health and development. According to the data of WHO, 89 per cent of world’s population have access to an improved source of drinking water. Nonetheless, over 2.2 million people globally die from water-related and filth-borne diseases. Diarrhea and malaria are one of the main diseases causing death of children under five years of age. Specialists call for effective cooperation between healthcare and education sectors. In fact, sometimes it is enough to use basic rules of hygiene, improve quality of drinking water and follow the rules of water storage. In this context, the crucial role is played by sanitation and hygiene education, clarification of the necessity to wash hands, proper clothing and home care, that will result in reduction of the incidence of diseases by 40 per cent.

UNDP in Uzbekistan devotes considerable attention to the issues of education in such a significant area for human health and life. A number of projects, which include components on raising awareness of the necessity to comply with sanitation and hygiene rules, are being implemented in the regions of Uzbekistan. The Zarafshan River Basin has been selected as a pilot region for one of these projects.

In the beginning of September, local residents of the Kanal-Yoqa and Sayram villages, Pastdargom district, Samarkand region, took part in two training workshops within the scope of the Project Building rural community resilience in Uzbekistan:  economic prosperity and healthy environment. Specialists of the project, representatives of the region’s khokimiyat, sanitary-epidemiological stations and health workers delivered a series of presentations on sanitation and hygiene in two local schools. Local administration officers, teachers, students of the schools and active members of mahallas showed a keen interest in the discussions held.

The “Sanitation and hygiene – healthy living” Manual appealing for a healthy lifestyle was developed and published, and it is expected that it will serve to reinforce the material learnt and contribute to learning of hygiene rules also by students of other schools. Keeping with the tradition to create cleanliness and comfort, on October 31 of this year, all participants of seminars, residents of neighboring mahallas jointly with the representatives of UNDP in Uzbekistan organized a “Hashar” as a symbol of new phase towards a healthy lifestyle.

Raising awareness on importance of hygiene and clean environment issues for the population health is a part of the strategy to improve the water supply and sanitation system in the Zarafshan River Basin, which was developed by UNDP in Uzbekistan. In the course of this strategy implementation, it is expected to increase welfare of more than three million people, and that will become another step towards ensuring environmental sustainability in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

* Based on the materials of the Project “Integrated Water Resources Management and Water Use Efficiency Plan for the Zarafshan River Basin”

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