Health education leading to positive behaviour change

After receiving WASH education from ADS using FFHIT health education modules, Both Kanika Nayak and Jayanti are practicing washing hands using soap  before cooking, eating and serving food to her family members.

Family members of both Kanika and Jayanti have developed the habit of washing hands as well as boiling water before drinking. All these changes have helped both the families to reduce the incidence of illnesses due to unhealthy habits as well as reduce medical expenses.

Kanika Nayak  is also propagating key health messages as a health ambassador to her neighbouring families who are not part of SHG in Nowada village to ensure better health of the entire village.One of major change has been construction of household sanitary latrine in Jayanti’s house.

Jayanti convinced her husband to get a latrine constructed in their house by depositing  Rs.900/- to Panchayat office towards the construction of household sanitary latrine under Swach Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) scheme and got it constructed at her house.      

Freedom from hunger India Trust, initiated Health Integration model for SHGs in 2 blocks of Burdwan district in the state of West Bengal, namely: Aushgram I and Aushgram II in partnership with Aikyatan Development Society.

Ms. Kanika Nayek is one of the active members of Panchanan SHG located in Nowada village under Guskara-2 GP of Ausgram-1 block , her  family consists of  her husband  Damodar Nayak who works as a part time cultivator and her son Kaushik Nayak aged 18 yrs studying in college.

Ms. Kanika mentioned “I never used to wash my hands with soap before cooking as well as eating food, neither did my family members used to. As a result we suffer from stomach illnesses, like vomiting, stomach upset.”

Jayanti Bagdi member of another SHG of Aushram 1 said “My 5 year old Debabrata Bagdi used to frequently suffer from diarrhoea and stomach pain and no  amount of medicine will cure it and it used to relapse. “

Jayanti Bagdi  mother of Debabrata  is one of the members of Sarada SHG used to regularly take  loan from her group to augment family’s income but major portion of her loan amount was spent on her son’s treatment.

Both the cases reflect lack of information, education and awareness on issues related to WASH, but due to Freedom from Hunger India Trusts health education sessions following changes have been observed.