Hygiene and Environmental Health Module
Welcome to the Hygiene and Environmental Health module of the HEAT Programme.
Drinking, eating, washing, excreting – these are things we do every day of our lives. But the way we do them can have a major impact on our health. Good hygiene practices are an essential part of daily life and we all need to understand what hygiene means, why it’s important for our health and wellbeing, and how we can change our behaviour to safeguard our health.
The significance of hygiene and environmental health is recognised in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDG). One of the MDG targets is to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. In Ethiopia, the public health importance of hygiene and environmental health is indicated in the Constitution and the National Health policy.
More than 80% of communicable diseases in Ethiopia are believed to be preventable using environmental health interventions, so targeting environmental health is vital for improving the health of the population at large.
The Hygiene and Environmental Health Module comprises 23 study sessions divided into two parts. Each study session is designed in a way that you, as a health worker, can use in your own context. The Module provides first the theoretical basis, and then the practices that are applicable at village level. Each study session is completed by a set of exercises so that you can check your understanding.