GFA introduces health and hygiene initiative for slum dwellers

By October 30, 2013

India (MNN) — Picture this: you’re one of the 500 million people living on less than $2 USD a day in South Asia. More specifically, you’re one of India’s 360 million people living below the poverty line — 28.65 rupees/56 cents USD in cities, 22.42 rupees/44 cents USD in villages.

This little boy's blackened arm is a result of him falling into an uncovered pot of boiling water. (Image courtesy GFA)

This little boy’s blackened arm is a result of him falling into an uncovered pot of boiling water. (Image courtesy GFA)

One day, your child gets sick.

You don’t know what’s wrong and even if you did, you’re too poor to buy any medicine. The only person in your village who claims to have healing knowledge is the witch doctor. The nearest medical facility is days away.

What do you do?

This scenario is why Gospel for Asia’s adding a health and hygiene component to their ministry. Teaching basic hygiene and first-aid as a community outreach will now be a vital part of GFA’s Women’s Fellowship ministry.

In a recent trip to one of South Asia’s largest slums, GFA workers realized the importance of this addition. Read their account here.

They met with 80 women who coordinate 10,000 GFA Women’s Fellowships across the region for first-aid training. In addition, common myths and misunderstandings were shared and corrected.

Several leaders told the worker that “if even a fraction of those first-aid trainings make it back to the mothers of India, many children’s lives will be saved.”

According to GFA, about 80-percent of diseases in Asia are curable, even preventable. One World Bank report shows open defecation, a common and widespread practice in India, accounts for much of the country’s excessive child stunting. Open defecation is also a major source of childhood disease.

Another World Bank report details the importance of sanitation training. Six-year-olds exposed to basic sanitary practices during their first year of life were more likely to recognize letters and basic numbers.

Pray for the successful implementation of this new health and hygiene program. Pray GFA workers get a chance to share the Gospel as they care for basic needs.

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