Please share lessons learned and innovative strategies on promoting hand washing with soap. Let’s learn from each other!


2 Responses to Share your Story!

  1. Okello Pual says:

    A tippy tap is the most effective and interesting method of making children get used to hand washing especially after using the latrine. My experience while working with children in rural communities as health inspector is that children love the technology. For adults adding liquid soap that smells nice also motivates them to use tippy taps. I have also noticed that the cleaniness of the jerrican and the height it is placed at tend to influence individuals to use the tippy taps. I also discovered that the owners of public business places like pork joints, bars, restaurants really admire the technology because of its advantage of economising water and also not dirtying the container. They say that their challenge is that most of their customers did not know how to use it; they would struggle to open the lid or tilt the jerican with their hands. I also discovered that the communities are so innovative by looking at the way they modified their tippy taps. However the biggest challenge is how to prevent the strings from destroying the jerricans. Thanks.

  2. I am Dr. Pawankumar Patil, a public health professional in India. In my two years (July 2008 – Aug 2010) of public health work in rural and tribal areas of Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, I worked for the prevention of childhood diarrheal infections.

    During this grassroots work, I conceived and directed the initiation of ‘The Nirmal Hand-washing Project’, a project chiefly motivated by the fact that, every day around 1000 children die in India because of diarrheal diseases. In Gadchiroli, I observed children falling victim to diarrhea, mainly due to lack of hygiene and bad sanitation. Mindful of the fact that hand washing with water and soap alone can prevent nearly 47% of diarrheal deaths and other illnesses like malnutrition and respiratory infections, I used ‘hand-washing habits’ to break the chain of pathology of diarrhea. I designed a water dispensing facility called Nirmal to demonstrate effective hand washing. My primary goals with the project was to institute a low-cost device that could be reproduced from inexpensive, easily acquired materials, and require minimal maintenance and education for use.

    I adopted a design of Dr. Jim Watt’s “Tippy-Tap” which could fulfill many of these criteria. After a series of modifications of Tippy-Tap to better fit local needs, Nirmal was born. The total construction cost of the device is $ 0.78 and it requires only 1/4 cup of water per wash. For effective hand-washing, I taught WHO recommended steps to these children by creating a song with culturally-relevant mnemonics so as to appeal to and make it easy for children to memorize while using the Nirmal. As children are the most common victims of diarrhea, I selected them as the main target population. I choose three primary schools as the trial intervention sites. Songs, Grassroots comics, games, positive and negative reinforcement methods were used to teach and sustain the hand-washing behavior. Adults and children in the villages were taught to construct the Nirmal from raw materials. Before replication, we evaluated the efficacy of the Nirmal hand-washing program. Three months after completion of the training phase of the program in schools, a survey of eighty-two students was completed. We found that about 88% continued to wash their hands as recommended. Thereafter the Nirmal hand-washing project got success not only in Gadchiroli but also in other districts like Thane, Nashik and Yavatmal. In total, eighty-three Nirmal devices have been installed in sixteen villages in Maharashtra.

    I will dedicate this success of Nirmal hand-washing Project to Dr. Jim Watt, Dr. Val Curtis, the Tippy-tap team and hundreds of children of Gadchiroli district. I feel fortunate to be a part of Tippy-tap family and love to share my experiments and experiences with It of great pleasure watching my Gadchiroli kids in the first photograph of the gallery of your website and watching the construction of Tippy-taps through an international award-winning video.

    Please feel free to contact me regarding any help and assistance.

    Dr. Pawankumar Patil

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