Discuss sanitation and hygiene regarding women in poor urban centres.

Discuss sanitation and hygiene regarding women in poor urban centres.
Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

The purpose of the study was to review the relevant literature of sanitation and hygiene regarding women in poor urban centres and explore ways on empowering women on sanitation and hygiene. The aim of the study was to describe the typical concerns for women regarding sanitation and hygiene in Kibera as well as providing women with practical suggestions to improve Hygiene and Sanitation in slums. The data collection method involved reviewing relevant literature which consisted research materials from poor urban centres and developing countries. In addition, United Nations publications and educational books for research were referred to. The findings suggest that there are seven sanitation and hygiene concerns that women experience: Toileting, water, poverty, problems caused by poor sanitation, communicable diseases, insecurity and gender inequality. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay Sanitation And Hygiene Essay Nurses need to promote hygiene and sanitation practices by advocating, educating, campaigning and participating in designing community projects that affect sanitation and hygiene. Furthermore, nurses need to work within communities, churches, and schools. As a conclusion, the findings of this study give idea on designing a poster for the community health care nurses who are working with women living in under privileged environments. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay




The paper intends to find significant conclusions and make recommendations based on scientific information and ethically accepted data. The paper focuses on women, hygiene and sanitation in Kibera slums which is one of the largest slums in Africa with a population of almost 2 million people; and where 10-25% of the population are infected with HIV/AIDS. (UNDP, 2005). Kibera is not the only slum dealing with sanitation and hygiene problems, many developing cities are also facing the challenge. Widespread of sanitation and hygiene problems are a result of poor political leadership, mismanagement of resources and poverty. Many first world or underdeveloped countries face the same challenges, although with good political leadership it is possible to overcome the problems. Poor political leadership and corruption has led to poverty, widespread diseases and war. African leaders should be encouraged to meet the needs of citizens instead of being self -centred about wealth and power. By doing this, the poor population will be able to access basic needs such as food, education, water, shelter and medical care with less difficulties. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

According to the Ministries of Health and Water, in 1983 national sanitation reached 49% of the population. Research carried out by the United Nations Children’s Education fund (UNICEF) estimated that sanitation in Kenya covered 45%and 46% in 1996. Dickens in 1883 quoted that Charity begins at home. This means good hygiene and sanitation must start at the grass roots level. Thus the study focuses on women because woman’s health is reflects on the well being of the family. It is important for nurse’ to bear in mind women’s concerns in poor urban areas in order to be able to implement effective care given to women when they visit hospitals.

The purpose of this study is to review relevant literature on sanitation and hygiene of women in poor urban centres and to describe how nurses can help women by giving them suggestions on how to improve sanitation and hygiene. Finally, we will design a poster for community health care nurses working with women living in under privileged environments. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay


Description and statistics

Kibera lies at an altitude of 1,670 meters above sea level, latitude 36 degrees, 50 degrees east and longitude 1 degree, 17 degrees south about 140 km south of equator. The emergence of Kibera as an informal settlement is connected with the phenomenal growth of the city of Nairobi. Kibera slums, the largest informal settlement in Africa, is situated 5 kilometres south of Nairobi City centre which is the capital city of Kenya. It houses more than a quarter of Nairobi’s population. The name `Kibera´ originated from a Nubian word which means `forest.´ (Karanja et al., 2002). Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

Kibera is divided into nine official villages, with each village having its own elder. They are Kianda, Soweto, Kisumu Ndogo, Lindi, Laini saba, Silanga, Makini and Mashimoni. There are no residences greater or bigger than a single storey. The average home is nine square meters which has five inhabitants per dwelling. Urban services such as water and sanitation are scarce. There is one pit latrine for every fifty to five hundred people hence leading to `flying toilets.´ Kenya has a great water shortage residents rely on piped water, boreholes and the polluted Nairobi river. Drinking water is pumped through plastic pipes alongside sewage trenches. (Karanja et al., 2002)

Health care delivery systems

The Ministry of Health (MOH) in Kenya is responsible for providing health care to the Kibera population. Kenyatta National Hospital, the biggest referral hospital in East and Central Africa, is close to the Kibera slums. Other health care facilities in the slum include: health clinics, dispensaries, maternity homes, nursing homes, medical centres, laboratories and radiological services, dental clinics which are owned by non-governmental organisations and private individuals. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

Attempts have been made to improve the healthcare system in Kibera by the Kenyan government, non-governmental institutions and the private sector. Health care facilities are licensed by the Ministry of Health if they meet the requirements of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). However, most of the private facilities operate illegally, thus leading to malpractice and poor quality of health.Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

For the human body, health is a positive state where every part of the mind and body is in harmony. Additionally, it is also functioning and balancing the other parts. Thus, in other words, when all parts of the body are functioning well, this physical well-being state of the human body is called health. It is well said and proved that a healthy person is someone who has a sound body and a sound mind. Health is one of the characteristics of life that helps a person live longer.

According to WHO, health is a state of complete mental, spiritual, physical, and social well being and not only the absence of disease. If a person is in a good physical state and free from any diseases but is under constant stress, greed, tension, anger, etc, then that person is not healthy.

Hygiene refers to good practices and rituals that prevent diseases and leads to good health. Thus, it mainly includes proper sewage disposal, cleanliness, and safe drinking water supply. So, it includes all the activities that are done for preserving and improving as well as maintaining sound health. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

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Good habits for Better Health and Hygiene
Nutritious Food
For good health, one needs to eat wholesome food. Some part of the food that we take in serves as fit to keep the body warm. While another part results in the flesh that helps in giving strength. One of the most nutritious food is considered as pure milk. There are many other things like vegetables that we generally take in order to have nutritious food. For a human body, a mixed diet is considered the best option. It should have an adequate amount of minerals, vitamins, and calories required to run our body. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

Pure Water
One of the major sources of good health and hygiene is pure water. Although it seems like a normal thing, water is one essential that makes up our body. Many people get sick because of drinking impure water. Also, it mostly happens in villages where people bathe, washcloths, and clean the cattles in the same water. Thus, when this water is used for drinking purposes, then it may result in hazardous health.

Cleanliness is one of the most important elements of good health. Thus, it is an important hygiene habit to keep yourself and your surroundings neat and clean. Whenever there is dirt, there are germs that thrive in it. Also, the dirt is light in air and thus it moves around in the air. So, a dirty man is often the one that is attacked easily with various diseases.

Hygiene is very important to us. Failure to uphold some level of hygiene can have serious health hazards to us and the people around us. This is because health and hygiene go hand in hand like butter and bread. It is highly unlikely therefore that you can be healthy with poor hygiene. Being social creatures, it is up to us to maintain high levels of cleanliness. And it is not a matter of choice, but our responsibility – just like paying taxes. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

Basic hygienic behavior is more effective if it is inculcated from childhood. Children who are taught the value of hygiene, grow up to be hygienically sound adults than those who are not taught from their formative years. Hygienic routines can be introduced into kids’ lives and reinforced continuously, until they are registered into their minds and become part of their lifestyles. Parents should however preach what they do, because children are more susceptible to follow what their parents do than what they say. So, parents have to be role models and lead by example.

Hygiene can be grouped into two, personal and environmental hygiene.

Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene refers to practices that keep our bodies and our immediate environment clean. Most of these practices are done on a daily basis, because of the tendency of our bodies to get unclean easily. When it comes to our bodies, they should be bathed at least once a day with clean water and detergent soap. We should also brush our teeth twice a day- in the morning to have fresh breadth during the day and in the evening, because bacteria are usually active at night when we are asleep. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

The toothbrush should be recommended by dentists, because most of these cheap brushes have hard bristles and they tend to damage gums. Our nails should be clean and well-trimmed. For those who like to keep them long, ensure that they are well kept and clean also.

Our clothes have to be clean all the time. How we choose to store them is also an issue because keeping them in dump places with poor aeration will make them stink. They can be folded well in suitcases or hanged in closets. Furthermore, we should avoid recycling clothes and just wear them once, before we wash them – especially our undies. Our hairs should also be taken care of. Whether we choose to keep them short or long or whichever style we like to make them, they should always be neat and clean.

They should be washed with shampoo regularly, so that they do not stink or loose luster and flexibility. We are also required to shave our bodies, either by waxing or using a blade. In addition, we have to monitor our body odor by using cologne (for men) and perfume (for women). Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

The next part of personal hygiene is to keep our environment sparkling clean as our bodies. It would be absurd to be extremely smart body wise, but living in a completely dirty house. Our immediate environment is reflected to us. It does not matter how many showers you take per day, if your house is dirty, then you are also dirty period. Houses should be dusted, vacuum cleaned and mopped on a regular basis.


Windows should be washed so that they are crystal clear. Tables, panels and flat surfaces should be wiped regularly and washed. Walls can be repainted and carpets washed once in a while. Our garages and storage rooms are usually the dirtiest, because we tend to dump things in them. They should also be cleaned, arranged nicely and all the extra garbage thrown away to be on the safe side. The houses should be well aerated with open windows to allow fresh air during the day. Air freshener may also be used to keep the house smelling lovely. The lawns should be watered daily and trimmed well. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

Once in a while, the houses can be sprayed with insecticides and pesticides to ward off insects and disease causing vectors. Crevices on walls should also be filled to keep insects away. Unbeknownst to most people, the two places that have the highest prevalence of bacteria, fungi and insects are kitchen and bathroom. They are therefore the places that need thorough cleaning. Kitchen surfaces should be spotlessly clean.

The cabinets should be cleaned regularly to keep cockroaches and spiders out and opened once in a while for aeration. Also, the lower cabinets should not be dump. Clogging and leaking sinks should be fixed and garbage bins should be emptied at least once a day to prevent the house from stinking. In the bathroom, the toilet bowl and the bathtub should be cleaned on a daily basis with a detergent. The surfaces should also be wiped to prevent dust build up.

Advantages of Personal Hygiene
One of the benefits of good hygiene is disease prevention. Our bodies come into contact with a lot of germs, especially on our hands. A good example is money, which is one of the dirtiest things on earth. It is imperative that we wash our hands constantly, because most germs get into our bodies through the mouth. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

So, by maintaining high levels of hygiene, we are preventing our bodies from coming into contact with disease causing vectors. This will in turn save us a lot of suffering and medical costs. Furthermore, we feel more confident knowing that we look good and smell lovely. Our self-esteem is boosted and our spirits rejuvenated. Cleanliness actually increases our desirability among our peers, which improves our score in the social rankings.

In addition, cleanliness comes with respect. People treat us the way we treat ourselves. So, if we treat ourselves with respect and dignity, then we will be treated the same. It is no wonder that smart people are naturally admired and respected by everyone. Being clean actually gives us a peace of mind. When we are clean, we are not worried about how we smell or look or how people think of us. We become comfortable in the midst of people, which makes us feel good.

Another shocking fact is that sweat and generally uncleanliness keep us fatigued and restless, which reduces our efficiency. After a shower however, we tend to feel rejuvenated and energetic. There is nothing so refreshing like getting into a bed with clean sheets or spending hours in the bathtub with some music playing in the background. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

Environmental Cleanliness
This is cleanliness and reclamation of the environment and is done at the community level. Most people do not indulge in this type of exercise, because they assume the responsibilities of keeping the environment clean to the government, after all they pay taxes, don’t they? While this may be true, it is actually prudent that we do not participate in environmental pollution or degradation, just because we pay the government to clean it. Most people are actually ignorant to the effects of pollution and the risks they pose to the future generations. So, instead of acting selfish, we should put their best interests at heart and live in such a way that the environment is preserved for the coming generations.

We can start by using proper disposable methods. We should ensure that all garbage ends up in litter bins and not on the streets. Furthermore, we can recycle items to reduce over production, which is the main reason why there is too much garbage heaps all over the world. This is especially true for plastics, which have poor degradation rate.

We can also join or form organizations, whose sole purpose is to keep the environment clean. Apart from cleaning and reclaiming polluted lands, we can also organize seminars and environmental workshops to educate and sensitize people on the importance of safeguarding the environment. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

Advantages of Environmental Cleanliness
The first advantage of keeping our environment clean is that we preserve it for the future generations. It will be unfair for them to inherit a world that is so polluted that it exposes them to a lot of health risks. Secondly, a clean environment is actually good to look at. Nature was created beautiful, it is human activities that destroy it. By preserving the environment, we are also preserving wildlife and marine animals. Land and sea animals are the most affected by pollution, because garbage is quickly getting into their habitats.

Whoever coined the phrase that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” was spot on. Hygiene is very important and should be part and parcel of our lives. Even animals, who cannot be compared to humans in the least bit understand hygiene and take a dip once in a while in rivers and lakes. So, if animals can do it, why not us?

The issue of hygiene should not be debatable. Every sane person is mandated to be clean with the exception of mad men, who are mentally challenged. Unhygienic lifestyle exposes us and the people around us to a lot of risks and we can easily avoid all these risks, if we all took showers daily.

This essay seeks to highlight with references four of the major benefits of sanitation in developing countries. Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of waste. In public health terms, the main source of this hazard is from human and animal feaces. Other sources include solid waste and domestic wastewater. Therefore, any intervention that seeks to separate these waste from humans is termed sanitation. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay Sanitation or sanitation interventions could be in form of hardware e.g. hygienic latrines or software in form of hygiene practice such as handwashing with soap. Mara et. al. (2010) opined that “Sanitation is the safe disposal of human excreta” defining ‘safe disposal’ as the hygienic containment or treatment of the excreta to avoid adversely affecting human health. Available 2010 figures show that 2.6billion people, mainly in the developing countries lack access to improved sanitation.It also showed that about 1.2billion people lack even an unimproved sanitation facility and practice open defeacation. (WHO, UNICEF, 2010). Statistics from various studies conducted have pointed to the enormous number of people that lack adequate sanitation worldwide and this has prompted some interventions and target setting by organisations across the world. Of such targets is the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of the United Nations on sanitation which seeks to halve the population of people without adequate sanitation by 2015 using 1990 figures as baseline and also World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) target of ‘Water and Sanitation’ for all by 2025. These targets underscores the importance of sanitation among human population and is geared at creating awareness through all levels of government to the burden that lack of sanitation poses to the people. This essay shall describe the benefits that comes with sanitation in developing countries with references to buttress the importance of achieving this targets and what is at stake to be gained. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

Sanitation has many benefits but one of the most important (if not the most important) is its contribution to the healthy living of a community or society. Health is wealth as it is commonly said. So, the health status of a community or family has a great role to play in their livelihood. Diarrhoeal diseases are mainly of feaco-oral route and they account for around 1.6 – 2.5million deaths annually. (Mathers C. D. et. al. 2006). Many of these deaths are under five children in developing countries. From the work of Black K. et. al. (2010), diarrhoeal was the leading cause of death among children under five years of age in sub-saharan Africa, resulting in 19% of all deaths in this age group. Eventhough studies carried out has not rigorously separated the specific effect of sanitation from the overall effect of water and sanitation intervention, systematic reviews has suggested that improved sanitation can reduce the rates of diarrhoeal diseases by 32% – 37% (Fewtrell I. et. al., 2005). Apart from diarrhoeal diseases, other diseases such as Schistosomiasis, Trachoma and Intestinal helminths causes lots of morbidity episodes and death in a lot of cases. The table below shows the morbidity and mortality rates of selected water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases. Sanitation And Hygiene Essay

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