is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious
diseases, and it is estimated to prevent between 2 to 3 million deaths each
year. It is one of the most cost-effective health investments, with proven
strategies that make it accessible to even the most hard-to-reach and
is a landlocked country with varying geographical and social-cultural
proximity. Cholera, which is defined as an acute diarrheal disease caused by
ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium known as vibrio
cholera, outbreaks have been recorded in rural and urban areas. These outbreaks
have occurred across the country, including in regions that are remote and
difficult to access and which have compromised water sanitation and poor hygiene
conditions. Thus, cholera outbreaks are a major concern for Nepal. Not only
does Nepal face natural disasters, like floods and landslides during the rainy
season every year, but it also faces a steady increase in urban population
density, accompanied by inadequate supplies of safe drinking water and high
rates of open defecation, especially right after a natural disaster occurs. To better
control, these kinds of problems, access to potable water, timely management of
cases, food hygiene maintenance, environmental sanitation, and community
engagement are a must.
maintenance of these complex environmental and health factors is difficult,
making the prevention and control of future cholera outbreaks challenging.
Thus, Nepal must take steps to improve its outbreak preparedness by
strengthening its early warning and response system, expanding health
education, increasing its case management readiness, ensuring the adequate
distribution of rehydration supplies, and giving consideration to the provision
of the oral cholera vaccine in high-risk communities. Therefore, in this
regard, Group for Technical Assistance is working with the Ministry of Health
and other relevant partners on implementing the aforementioned activities to
prevent and control cholera, as well as other enteric diseases.
Water Aid hygiene promotion through immunization, which is a groundbreaking
approach to hygiene behavior change, worked with the government of Nepal?s
Ministry of Health to reach thousands of mothers and babies at immunization
clinics. This is another example of an effective result-based approach, where
Group for Technical Assistance had a role in supporting this effort, primarily by
conducting formative research.
The practice of
good hygiene is the key to a healthy life. However, changing people?s hygiene
habits is easier said than done, especially for people in remote communities,
who have had less exposure to these practices. With that being said, there is
always a solution, even to challenges such as these. By using motivational, engaging,
attractive, and surprising intervention strategies and novel approaches, we can
successfully elicit behavior change.
Also, these kinds
of activities will not only help in improving hygiene practices, but they will
also strengthen Nepal?s routine immunization system by improving immunization
coverage and people?s trust in immunization services.
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