Proper Hygiene Prevents Disease Outbreak

Proper Hygiene Prevents Disease Outbreak

Publication info

Posted
4/19/16

Desh Kumar Ghale inconveniently hops down the stairs as he makes his way home. He pulls his traditional Nepali stool and sits in his quadrangle where his nephews hustle in a playful manner. His oldest niece accompanies Desh as she pulls out another stool and sits beside him.

When Desh was just 12 years old he was hit by a car in the Nepal capital of Kathmandu and he has beenunable to walk properly since then. Even after visiting the doctors repeatedly his ability to walk has not improved.

“It is difficult for me to walk as my left leg does not work properly. I have to depend on my right leg to climb up and down the hills”, says Desh.

Walking uphill and downhill is a normal part of life for the people of hilly and mountainous region of Nepal. As Desh’s village of Barpak is situated 1,900 meters above sea level it is strenuous for him to walk to his house in the hills.

And then last year’s earthquake completely destroyed his home. His belongings like clothes, food, soaps, and toothbrush were buried inside the rubbles.

“For weeks we had to wear the same clothes”, says Desh’s oldest niece Bishnu Ghale. “Our clothes were getting dirty and we managed to salvage some old ones from the rubble; but all of those were covered in mud and dust.” The village of Barpak was the epicenter for the earthquake on 25th April. After the earthquake more than 80 percent of the houses were damaged or destroyed in the village. Almost everyone in the village had lost their possessions like clothes and hygiene items necessary for day to day sanitation.

“I was worried that diseases might spread in our village because many people were not able to wash their hands with soap after defecation”, says Bishnu. She further adds “Thankfully one of our neighbors was able to salvage some soaps and we could share it within our family. However, when we received soaps from CARE, I felt a little relieved that it will help stop the diseases to spread in our village”. Bishnu and Desh received a hygiene kit from CARE after the quake.

The hygiene kit consisted sanitary pads that were useful for many women like Bishnu. “I was having my period, and I did not have any clean clothes. The shops were all closed as most of them were either destroyed or damaged”, she recalls. She further adds, “The sanitary pad in the hygiene kit was a god sent item for me as most of my clothes were buried inside the rubble. I was happy to receive those items since it has helped me take care of my sanitation during turbulent time”.

When asked about the most useful item in the hygiene kit, Desh replied “I liked the torch light because sometimes it gets dark after I graze my cattle and lock them in the shed. With the help of torch light I can safely return home without worrying that I might fall from the stairs”.

 

Desh Kumar Ghale (left) sits with his oldest niece Bishnu Ghale (right) outside his house next to the hygiene kits provided by CARE with the funding support from Australian Aid.

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