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Sanitation and Diseases

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Sanitation: An Introduction

Personal hygiene is something that should be looked upon and taken care of in our day-to-day life. People sometimes immerse themselves in the loads of work that they forget to have time for their self-care, or people who live in poor living conditions don’t have access to clean water and healthy food. This, unfortunately, have diverse effects on people’s health, leading to the contamination of various disease. The prevention of certain illnesses or diseases related to poor hygiene is termed sanitation.

Poor hygiene comes in various forms, such as waste or unfiltered water, contaminated food, living near the gutter, dirty hands used for eating, and the kitchen not being sanitised well enough to cook food. It is said that over 1.7 billion people still don’t have access to toilets or washrooms. All these factors lead to certain illnesses or diseases that harm human health.

Hence, the World Health Organisation has taken various measures to prevent such conditions and encouraged people worldwide to follow them as much as possible. Following these measures can help many people be aware and not be victims of such ferocious diseases.

Lack of Sanitation

Sanitation is deemed as one of the most required preventive measures to tackle certain contaminated illnesses or diseases. Most people suffer from the said diseases due to a lack of proper sanitation. Most of the diseases caused due to inappropriate sanitation in human beings are related to intestinal and stomach diseases. Improper sanitation methods come in various forms. They are:

  • Usage of contaminated or unfiltered water for drinking and cooking foods.

  • Defecating and urinating in an open field like a forest, river, etc.

  • Living beside sewage or garbage disposal field.

  • Not cleaning the kitchen before and after meals.

  • Not washing hands before eating.

  • Usage of the same syringe, which was used many times.

  • Engaging with patients with contaminated diseases and not sanitising after.

  • Not following basic hygiene protocols in day-to-day life.

Disease Caused by Lack of Sanitation

Many contaminated diseases are caused due to lack of sanitation. Humans mostly suffer from intestinal parasitic diseases or stomach-related diseases due to improper sanitation. Some of the acute diseases are:

  • Helminth infections

  • Impaired cognitive functions (lack of mental awareness)

  • Pneumonia

  • Diarrhoea

  • Anaemia in children

  • Growth faltering in infants

  • Bloodborne diseases like Hepatitis B and C due to not sanitising syringes

These are some illnesses or diseases that are caused due to lack of proper hygiene methods. Most of the diseases are caused by intestinal parasitic worms. They directly affect the intestines of human beings. Henceforth, proper knowledge about basic hygiene methods is needed for everyone to be safe from these acute illnesses.

Importance of Sanitation

Basic hygiene and sanitation are the most needed measures required to this day. Most of the people around us are unaware of the fundamental knowledge of preventive measures of sanitation and its benefits. People need to look at the importance of proper hygiene to be safe from the said acute diseases. They can be harmful, as well as deadly for human beings. One must know all the measures of sanitation and should it as well. It's beneficiary for us and also for the people around us.

Effects of Poor Sanitation on People’s Life

People have irreversible effects on their lives because of these severe diseases. Sometimes it's too late for the people with limited resources, as they cannot tackle the upcoming calamity that falls upon them. Whereas is difficult for people who come from the lower class because they cannot afford medical help. That’s why it's necessary for everyone to have an awareness of the said diseases and their prevention.

Interesting Facts

  • In the 16th and 19th centuries, the modern age of sanitation was started in Europe when pail closets, outhouses, and cesspits were used to clean up human wastes.

  • Over 4.2 billion people used a safely managed sanitation service in 2020.

  • At least 10% of the world's population is thought to consume food irrigated by water.

  • Most people are still littering in open field areas due to the non-availability of proper and cleaned toilets.

Key Features

  • Sanitation is taking care of oneself to be safe from acute diseases.

  • Many of the world's population is still suffering from contamination diseases due to improper sanitation.

  • Most contaminated diseases or illnesses start from the intestines of human beings.

  • One should be aware of basic hygiene methods to prevent certain diseases.

  • All should follow preventive measures initiated by the World health organisation to prevent contaminated diseases.

  • Having a good sanitary habit is key to a healthy life. One should have basic hygiene habits in day-to-day life right from early life.

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FAQs on Sanitation and Diseases

1. What is community hygiene?

Community hygiene is said to be a gathering of people to bring awareness and lay out preventive measures for contaminated diseases. This meeting only happens between people who live near one another.

2. What are the 4 types of sanitation?

The 4 types of sanitation include the Excreta management system, solid waste management system, wastewater management system, and drainage system.

3. What are the theories of public health?

The most common public health theories are the social cognitive theory, the transtheoretical behaviour model, the health belief model, and the theory of planned behaviour. 

4. What are sanitation facilities?

The facilities that separate human waste from human contact are known as sanitation facilities. They can be flushed or pour-flush to the sewer pipe system, pit latrines, septic tank, ventilated-improved pit latrines, composite toilets, etc.