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fermer ce livreA Guide to the Development of on-site Sanitation (WHO; 1992; 246 pages)
Afficher le documentPreface
fermer ce répertoirePart I. Foundations of sanitary practice
ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuChapter 1. The need for on-site sanitation
ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuChapter 2. Sanitation and disease transmission
fermer ce répertoireChapter 3. Social and cultural considerations
Afficher le documentSocial structure
Afficher le documentCultural beliefs and practices
Afficher le documentConcepts of hygiene
Afficher le documentBeliefs about sanitation and disease
Afficher le documentForces for change
Afficher le documentResponses to change
Afficher le documentConclusion
ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuChapter 4. Technical options
ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuPart II. Detailed design, construction, operation and maintenance
ouvrir ce répertoire et afficher son contenuPart III. Planning and development of on-site sanitation projects
Afficher le documentReferences
Afficher le documentSelected further reading
Afficher le documentGlossary of terms used in this book
Afficher le documentAnnex 1. Reuse of excreta
Afficher le documentAnnex 2. Sullage
Afficher le documentAnnex 3. Reviewers
Afficher le documentSelected WHO publications of related interest
Afficher le documentBack Cover

Beliefs about sanitation and disease

Evidence of the value attached by communities to cleanliness and, by implication, environmental sanitation is found in studies of diarrhoea. People's perceptions of its causes may be divided into three categories, physical, social and spiritual. In many cases, physical causes are identified and, although the germ theory is not explicitly stated, the faecal-oral transmission routes of diarrhoea appear to be understood. Households may associate diarrhoea with a polluted environment including uncovered food, dirty water and flies. Graphic descriptions of pollution have been quoted (de Zoysa et al., 1984):


- "We have to drink the dam water where animals and children bathe and the dirty water makes us ill."

- "Flies sit on dirt which they eat then they come on to uncovered foods and spit on to foods which we eat."

As on-site sanitation involves improving the physical environment, it may therefore be readily accepted as one means by which to reduce the incidence of disease.

Equally, social and spiritual causes are perceived to be important, and include, for example, female social indiscretions and witchcraft. But these three apparently unrelated causes of diarrhoea should not be interpreted as mutually exclusive or divergent approaches to disease. They are often closely interrelated in practice, within a holistic interpretation of the environment.

Efforts should be made to determine how a community's beliefs, knowledge, and control over the environment can be harnessed in a positive way. Careful judgement is required to distinguish between those beliefs and ritual behaviour that are conducive to good sanitation practice and those that need to be changed.

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