Health and Hygiene
Around 1,000 children below the age of five die every day in India from diarrhoea, hepatitis-causing pathogens and other sanitation-related diseases, according to the report of United Nations Children's Fund.
Why Focus on Hygiene is required?
Hygiene is the practice of maintaining good health through cleanliness. Maintaining good personal hygiene and keeping our food, water and environment clean are the major areas where good hygiene practices need to be implemented. Only 53% of Indians wash their hands after defecation which means that the issue of environmental sanitation needs to be addressed at large.
Open defecation, especially, is a major issue and it poses great threat to hygienic living conditions. Flies sit on excreta and carry germs when they sit on food. During rainy season the excreta is washed into ponds and wells thus contaminating them. Public places with improper sanitation facilities results in increased cases of diarrhoea and typhoid. Clearly, the need for proper and hygienic toilet facilities cannot be denied.
We at FINISH firmly believe that merely constructing toilets will not improve the present sanitation situation in India. It needs to be coupled with encouragement for the use of sanitation facilities. Therefore keeping our objective of promoting "Total Sanitation" and following an integrated approach, our programs focus on building safe sanitation systems and simultaneously also creating awareness for the good hygiene practices.
Hygienic defecation practices can be followed by keeping in mind some simple points. However, before educating the people about them, it is necessary to first make the people aware about the importance of practicing good hygiene. We focus on hygiene related awareness amongst children and women. We have been promoting good WASH practices through school children who are change agents of future.
Sanitation & Health
Globally, about 10% of diseases are caused due to lack of proper sanitation. According to the journal on PLoS Med Series 7(11), "At any given time close to half of the urban populations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America have a disease associated with poor sanitation, hygiene, and water. Of human excreta, faeces are the most dangerous to health".
One of the other initiatives taken by FINISH in order to link health and sanitation to financial inclusion is providing micro insurance to poor segments of society. In this endeavor, FINISH has brought insurance service providers also in the financial inclusion chain. We aim to bring down the premium cost by reducing risk and improving health standards due to better sanitation so that insurance becomes affordable for the poor. In one such association, FINISH has covered more than 50000 beneficiaries under micro health insurance policies.