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
close this folderUnit 1: Healthy water and better sanitation
View the documentThe problems we have with water
View the documentWays to keep our water supply safe
View the documentGolden rules for safe water
View the documentImproving our environment ourselves
View the documentThe water committee
View the documentWays to make drinking water safer
View the documentLatrines
close this folderUnit 2: Coping with some of our special health problems
View the documentDiarrhoea
View the documentGuinea worm (for parts of Africa and India)
View the documentSchistosomiasis
View the documentMosquitos
View the documentAIDS
close this folderUnit 3: Healthy food
View the documentBright eyes and clear skin
View the documentGood food
View the documentProtecting our food
View the documentBreast-feeding
View the documentGiving other foods: Weaning begins
View the documentGrowing healthy food
View the documentGrowing a future
View the documentFish
close this folderUnit 4: Healthy mothers, healthy children
View the documentStaying healthy while pregnant
View the documentWarning signs in pregnancy
View the documentBirth spacing
View the documentImmunization
View the documentThank you for your visit
View the documentBibliography
View the documentSources of information
View the documentSlides

Schistosomiasis

“Schistosomiasis (sometimes called bilharzia) is a terrible illness caused by people who have the disease urinating or defecating in water,” the school teacher told us.

“People with schistosomiasis suffer from swollen bellies with pain in the abdomen. They will often have blood in their urine.”

“This disease will disappear if no one urinates or defecates in or near water. It is that simple,” the teacher told us.


Figure

“Schistosomiasis worm eggs are carried in urine and people’s faeces.”

“That is easy to say, but how are we going to get children to follow this rule?” said one mother.

“Mothers are children’s first and greatest teachers,” a neighbour replied.

“Even the urine from young children can carry tiny worms which make others sick,” the teacher explained.

“Older children can see to it that younger ones urinate before playing or swimming in water.

“We have posters in school that children made about preventing the ‘bloody urine disease’.”

“Did you hear the Schisto Song on radio,” some boys shouted before singing:

You can play and splash
when you take a bath,
but water can be mean.

If you have to pee go to a latrine,
never in a river, swamp or stream.

For “one” and “two”
a latrine will defend you,
from bloated bellies and
the bloody urine disease.

Suggestions

Arrange with the health worker and the school teacher to hold a poster drawing competition for children on the subject “how to prevent schistosomiasis”. The best posters could be displayed in the community.

Discussion

Do many children in your community have swollen bellies and blood in their urine?

Are children afraid to use the latrines because the hole is too big, or because they are dark and smelly?