Author(s): Nath KJ
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Abstract Problems of the environment and of domestic hygiene are always related to poverty of population and the sanitation of settlements. Most cities and towns in developing countries, like India, are characterised by over-crowding, congestion, inadequate water supply and inadequate facilities of disposal of human excreta, waste water and solid wastes. Inadequacy of housing for most urban poor invariably leads to poor home hygiene. Personal and domestic hygiene practices cannot be improved without improving basic amenities, such as water supply, waste water disposal, solid waste management and the problems of human settlements. But even under the prevailing conditions, there is significant scope of improving hygiene practices at home to prevent infection and cross-infection. Unfortunately, in developing countries, public health concerns are usually raised on the institutional setting, such as municipal services, hospitals, environmental sanitation, etc. There is a reluctance to acknowledge the home as a setting of equal importance along with the public institutions in the chain of disease transmission in the community. Managers of home hygiene and community hygiene must act in unison to optimise return from efforts to promote public health. Current practices and perceptions of domestic and personal hygiene in Indian communities, the existing levels of environmental and peri-domestic sanitation and the 'health risk' these pose will be outlined, as well as the need for an integrated action for improving hygiene behaviour and access to safe water and sanitation.
This article was published in Int J Environ Health Res
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy