Cover Image
close this bookFood, Water and Family Health: A Manual for Community Educators (UNDP - WHO, 1994, 108 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentHow to use this manual
Open this folder and view contentsUnit 1: Healthy water and better sanitation
Open this folder and view contentsUnit 2: Coping with some of our special health problems
Open this folder and view contentsUnit 3: Healthy food
Open this folder and view contentsUnit 4: Healthy mothers, healthy children
View the documentThank you for your visit
View the documentBibliography
View the documentSources of information
View the documentSlides


Information for community educators is often in short supply. By educators we mean teachers, health workers, and community organizers involved in promoting healthy practices. Family members sharing knowledge with relatives, neighbours and friends are the most valuable educators.

Food, water and environment are personal and immediate matters. Nutritious food maintains health, promotes growth in children, and prevents blindness. Safe drinking water nurtures and restores; unsafe water, even when it looks clean, is harmful. Puddles and rubbish lying around encourage mosquitos and rats. Clean surroundings, gardens, and properly located latrines can make the neighborhood beautiful and more healthy.

Food, Water and Family Health is rich in information and experiences. The manual employs simple dialogue, messages, and illustrations. The arrangement of text and choice of language should make the manual accessible to people with a broad range of backgrounds and levels of literacy.

The whole concept has benefitted from numerous outstanding works such as UNICEF’s successful Facts for Life. Look to the “Bibliography” and “Sources of Information” section for more information. Our aim has been to provide specific yet non-technical frames of references for a wide range of subjects of immediate interest to people and communities.

This manual is based on an earlier test edition prepared by Steve Minkin and literacy adviser, Nellie Mathur, and illustrated by Brian O’Neil, with help and advice from many colleagues in various agencies and institutions. It has been substantially revised and expanded by WHO following field testing in seven countries by the WHO/UNDP Health Learning Materials programme. The principal author for WHO has been Lucy Clarke, and the illustrator Ettice de Loache. Many WHO colleagues contributed to this revised version. Some illustrations have also been drawn from the new edition of WHO’s Community Health Worker.

While the authors and illustrators have made every attempt to express the universality of the concepts and messages contained in this manual, it is clearly impossible to do justice to the wide variety of sociocultural conditions prevailing in countries and regions. We invite you, therefore, to use and adapt the manual to fit local conditions. Page v, “How to use this Manual” gives suggestions on how to derive maximum benefit from it.

We wish you every success in the use of this manual.

Frank Hartvelt
Deputy Director,
UNDP Division of Global and Interregional Programmes,
New York

Mac Dowling
Health Learning Materials Programme,
World Health Organization,