Washing hands does more than fight germs — it saves lives

By March 5, 2013

India (IPS/MNN) –- The concept of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) training is simple, yet it will save many lives.

A team from India Partners began a three-day training course in Andhra Pradesh yesterday, educating village leaders on the importance of maintaining a safe water source and practicing good sanitation and hygiene.

This training teaches villagers practical solutions to keep their water safe. Leaders will learn about the transmission of diseases when fecal waste is not disposed of properly. They'll also be taught the importance of handwashing after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food.

Over the past several years, through partnership with a local Indian non-profit, India Partners has provided access to safe water for over 73,000 people living in 92 villages. But safe water isn't enough to keep people healthy.

In rural India, an estimated 67% of villagers have no improved sanitation facilities and practice open defecation.

“Thousands of people hopelessly die every year from diseases such as diarrhea and cholera,” says Prahbhakar Jena, an India Partners field representative living in India.

Jena believes educating Indians on WASH has the power to transform the health of an entire community. When safe water is combined with good sanitation and hygiene, the number of deaths caused by water-related diseased can be reduced by up to 65%, according to the World Health Organization.

“I am really excited about the WASH training because it will create an awareness among the people about the impact of having unclean water and poor sanitation,” says Jena.

“Take care of your health, and your health will take care of you,” he adds.

India Partners works alongside indigenous Christian grassroots agencies focused on alleviating poverty and injustice. They work together to utilize the entire Body of Christ and seek answers to the problems facing India today.

To come alongside India Partners in WASH training and save lives in a simple way, click here.

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