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close this bookWater and Sanitation Technologies: A Trainer's Manual (Peace Corps, 1985)
close this folderSessions
close this folderSession 14 - Communicable diseases and control
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAttachment 14A: Communicable diseases



Two Hours


* Describe, in detail, various communicable diseases, and effective means to control them


Control of Communicable Diseases in Man; Benenson

Rural Water and Sanitation Projects; USAID, pp. 11-27

Attachment 14-A: "Communicable Diseases"


Newsprint and felt-tip pens, copies of Attachment 14-A for all trainees


One or more trainers and trainees

Trainer Introduction

This session is intended to provide specific information on communicable diseases and their control. Try to select diseases that are prevalent in the host countries to which the trainees will be sent. If there is a qualified health practitioner on the staff, that person should lead the session.


Step 1

5 minutes

Present the objective and format for the session.

Step 2

15 minutes

Discuss communicable diseases in general.

Trainer Note

Review the material from Session 9 on water-related diseases.

Step 3

1 hour, 30 minutes

Hand out the attachment. Give presentations on various communicable diseases.

Question and answer period follows each presentation.

Trainer Note

Use the Benenson book as a reference, or other appropriate sources. Focus on the following areas for each disease:

- methods of identification/symptoms
- infectious agents
- reservoirs
- methods of treatment
- host
- vector/vehicle
- chain of infection
- how to break the cycle
- long-range effects

Step 4

10 minutes

Review the objectives and conclude the session.

Trainer Note

It is quite natural for trainees to feel somewhat personally threatened by the information contained in this session. Mention that in fact, most Volunteers in-country find themselves more concerned about the health of those people around them, than their own. The reason for this is simple. Many of the people they work with are chronically ill, while in contrast, their own health is relatively good.

Point out that gaining knowledge and understanding of communicable diseases is essential for prevention, both for Volunteers themselves and for host country people. Emphasize that improved water supplies and sanitation facilities can help prevent the diseases that have such a debilitating effect on people around the world.

Any nation's best resource is its people, and prevention of communicable disease can make people more productive and healthy. This will in-turn lead to lasting improvement in their lives.