Protected family against germs/ diseases
Open defecation is a major contributor of water-borne diseases. Each year thousands of children under 5 years of age die of diarrhea. Mrs. Nanu, a 49-year-old resident of village Pir Aga Ghulam Ali Sarhandi, District Sanghar, Sindh, has seven children (4 boys and 3 girls); and belongs from a Hindu family. She skilled in making ralli (local bed sheet). The whole family works as farmers on agricultural land. Diseases like Diarrhea, Cholera, Scabies and Gastro are prevalent in the area due to poor hygienic conditions. Thus, most of the family’s income is spent on health treatment. There is no concept of using latrines therefore open defecation is common.
PMS’S project team surveyed this village during the identification of marginalized communities, who were suffering from water, sanitation and health problems. Health and hygiene sessions were conducted in the village to create awareness among the community about the importance of hygiene. Villagers were sensitized about the harmful effects of open defecation. This issue is also associated with malnutrition and hindered growth in children. The area is not secure for women, therefore, it is difficult for women to go out during night for defecation. Studies have shown that in extreme cases, holding defecation for a long period of time can result in death. Emphasis was given on hand washing and use of pit latrine.
After attending PMS’s session, Mrs. Nanu was motivated to construct pit latrine at her house. She stated that
I am content that now I am completely aware of the harmful effects of open defecation. I am educated how to protect my family against germs. I am grateful to PMS for educating people about health and hygiene; my children will not get sick and enjoy good health. I hope to get strong financially as my money will not be wasted on medical expenses. I will also mobilize my community and encourage them to construct latrines.