US research firm holds diarrhoea prevention camps in India

The programme, 'Saathi Bachpan Ke' was organised in low-income settlements in cities of Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi this summer between the months of May and July; the peak period of diarrhoeal outbreaks.

Funded through the USAID-India Market-Based Partnerships for Health Project, the initiative teaches parents and children simple ways to prevent and manage this illness.

At camp, parents, caregivers and children become quickly involved in the "edutainment" produced by the Abt team that teaches important life-saving behaviours –from washing hands with soap and purifying water to rehydrating children suffering with diarrhoea.

Information regarding several issues, including hygiene, oral rehydration salts etc. was imparted among people through puppet shows, interactive games and quizzes, said Kavita Ayyagari, Abt's programme director.

"Hand washing with soap is a cost-effective intervention that has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease by over 40 percent, she said.

"Proper handling and safe storage of water cuts the incidence of the disease by nearly 50 percent," she added.

Notably, India's infant mortality rate is one of the highest in the world, with Diarrhoea being the second-largest contributer in the death of children between age-group of 0-5 years

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