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This research paper assesses the level of health awareness and hygienic practices and their health impacts in urban vis-à-vis rural areas in five states of Eastern India - Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and West Bengal. This study attempts to gauge the existing level of awareness of public health and hygiene issues and how it influences the hygiene practices in the community. The correlation of the same with the disease burden of a few selected water and sanitation related diseases is also examined. The study demonstrates that basic socio-economic factors, such as religion, education and level of economic status, play a pivotal role in conditioning the perception and practice of hygiene. Community perception of health and hygiene issues has a strong influence on hygiene practice. Perception and practice, along with provision of sanitation facilities, have significant impact on reducing burden of communicable diseases, such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, hepatitis, etc.
This paper was presented at the Hygiene Practitioners Workshop, Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 2010.
BRAC is a Bangladesh-based NGO working to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. BRAC currently runs a large-scale WASH programme in many rural areas.
The International Water and Sanitation Center (IRC) facilitates the sharing, promotion and use of knowledge so that governments, professionals and organizations can better support poor men, women and children in developing countries to obtain water and sanitation services they will use and maintain.
WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. In 26 countries in Africa, Asia and Pacific region, and at the global level, they work with partners and influence decision makers to maximize impact.
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership and membership organization that works to achieve sustainable water supply and sanitation for all people, through enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals.