Taking to the Streets for Public Health Promotion

Taking to the Streets for Public Health Promotion

As part of the disaster risk reduction (DRR) programme, earlier this year Oxfam India flagged off a 20-day Video Van campaign on ‘WASH in Emergency’ in Sangli district in Maharashtra. The campaign, ‘Arogya, Swachchta Va Pani Gunwatta Jan Jagriti Abhiyan’ (Health, Hygiene, Quality Water Awareness Campaign) was organised in collaboration with the National Health Mission, Government of Maharashtra to spread the message of post-disaster sanitation and hygiene practices.
 
Sangli and Kolhapur were the worst affected districts during the 2019 floods in the state. Nearly 400 lives were lost, over 700 villages and 7 lakh people were affected, crops in over 1 Lakh hectares of agricultural land were damaged, electricity was disrupted in over 2 lakh homes and water supply to more than 400 villages were partially or completely disrupted.
 
When the floods hit Maharashtra, Oxfam India was on the field almost immediately and it worked round the clock to assess immediate and long-term needs of flood-affected families in the two districts. Oxfam India distributed hygiene kits — tooth brush, tooth paste, bathing soap, washing soap, towel, sanitary napkin, comb, nail cutter and NADCC (chlorine tablets) — to more than 900 people across 165 households.

The destruction caused by floods and lack of clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities exposes the affected families to a high incidence of diseases. In order to prevent the spread of diseases, water borne and otherwise, Oxfam India staff conducted the cleaning of eight villages in Sangli district benefitting more than 5,000 men, women, and children. Four water supply systems in Sangli and Kolhapur district, reaching out to over 20,000 people, were restored. Oxfam India conducted school level public health promotion activities reaching out to 600 girls and trained 30 ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers from two gram panchayats on Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) issues. They also initiated the restoration of one school toilet.

DISASTER RESILIENCE THROUGH ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN AND EXCLUDED COMMUNITIES

The Video Van Campaign was organised keeping mind the need for continued support in flood affected areas because of the risk of diseases that lingers long after the flood water recedes. There is a need to follow strict hygiene practices. Thus, Oxfam India continued working with people to educate and support them to adopt post-disaster hygiene practices. 

The campaign aimed at mass hygiene promotion to educate people on hygiene practices post disaster.  Oxfam India reached out to 80 flood-affected villages of Sangli district in Maharashtra. The van travelled to at least five villages a day, holding street plays, showing WASH videos, organising meetings, and distributing brochures to the communities. Traditional dance and song forms followed by communities was used as a medium to convey the messages.

The shows sent messages on hygiene practices such as harmful effects of open defecation and the importance of using toilets; methods of cleaning drinking water; keeping public places clean; importance of hand washing; and precautions that need to be taken to prevent dengue, malaria and other water-borne and communicable diseases. 

Oxfam India reached out to more than 4000 people and nearly 6000 children, educated them on health and hygiene practices through the video van campaign. Women and girls were the focus of the campaign and many women led groups participated and inspired other women in their communities.

READ: YOUTH SPEARHEAD THE #CLEANPATNADRIVE IN BIHAR

Oxfam India, with support from donors and partners, responded to floods in Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. We reached out to 3,31,570 people of 66,314 households. As a part of Disaster Risk Reduction, 3.7 lakh people are trained and now resilient to face the natural disasters in disaster-prone intervention areas.

Donate Now to help us continue supporting flood-affected families.
 


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