32.5.1  Prevention of faeco-oral transmission

Give clear health education messages in ways that motivate people in your community to undertake the prevention and control measures described below. Each measure has been given a distinguishing letter, so you can relate it to the questions that follow the descriptions.

Ways to prevent faecal contamination of hands

AWash hands with soap and clean water:
   A1After defaecation, or cleaning the bottom of a child, or changing an infant’s nappy (diaper).
   A2After working with soil, or after children have been playing on soil, where there has been open defaecation by people or animals.
   A3Before preparing food or eating.
BCut fingernails and avoid putting fingers into the mouth.

Ways to prevent contamination from unsafe food

CPrepare and eat food safely:
   C1Observe thorough hand hygiene before and during any contact with food
   C2Ensure that all utensils are completely clean; allow them to ‘air dry’ after washing (don’t wipe with a cloth)
   C3Wash raw vegetables and fruits thoroughly in clean water
   C4Cook other food items thoroughly, particularly meat and fish
   C5Eat cooked food while it is hot and reheat food thoroughly if it has cooled
   C6Cover food so it cannot be exposed to flies.
DPromote exclusive breastfeeding of infants under six months old:
  D1If babies or young children are fed animal milk or formula, the bottle and teat, or cup and spoon, should be thoroughly washed with clean water and soap before every feed
   D2Animal milk should be boiled and cooled before drinking
   D3Formula milk should be mixed with boiled cooled water.
EControl flies:
   E1Cover food to prevent contamination by flies
   E2Dispose of faeces and other wastes safely, so flies cannot land on sewage.

Ways to prevent contamination from unsafe water

FProtect water sources from contamination with faeces:
   F1Use a properly constructed latrine and safe disposal of faeces
   F2Avoid open defaecation in the fields (Figure 32.4)
   F3Avoid direct contact of hands with drinking water
   F4Install protected water sources, such as covered wells with pumps
GBoil water before drinking, or using in preparation of food or fluids
HUse clean drinking cups and clean covered containers for storing water.
Sign celebrating the achievement of Fura in the SNNPR
Figure 32.4  Sign celebrating the achievement of Fura in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia as the first ‘open-defaecation free’ village in the region. All households have a latrine. (Photo: accessed from http://www.susana.org/docs_ccbk/susana_download/2-297-open-defecation-free-environment-ethiopia-en.pdf)
  • Which of the measures described above will help to prevent the transmission of infectious agents by flies? Use the letters assigned to each measure to indicate your answers.

  • Measures C6, E1, E2, F1 and F2 will all reduce the risk of faeco-oral diseases transmitted by flies.

  • Which of the measures described above are most important when preparing milk for feeding to young children?

  • Measures A1, A2, A3, B, C1, C2, D1, D2, D3, G and H.

32.5  Prevention and control of faeco-oral diseases

32.5.2  Other ways to reduce the risks of faeco-oral diseases