Providing soap to each household and create the habit to use it before and after every significant event.
Our idea is to educate Moms and children to WASH HANDS WITH SOAP. This behavioral change would tackles the problem of SPREADING DISEASE IN CHILDREN UNDER 5 years old which would improve health and save the lives of children. Healthy children can go to school and learn. Well body = sharp brain. Brains move ideas & ideas move the economy.
Diarrhoea disease & respiratory infections continue to be the leading cause of preventable death in children under the age of 5 in developing countries. According to the research, simple use of soap during hand washing can significantly reduce the risk of disease by soil-transmitted helminth infections and death in children.
Image from multi-language coloring book promoting washing hands with soap and distributed to small children in India.
Fathers teaching habit to children. Image from multi-language coloring book promoting washing hands with soap and distributed to small children in India.
Mothers teaching the habit to their children. Photo credit. O.Girard.
The idea is to follow in footsteps of people behind those that bring in clean water for example and use that positive energy initiated by bringing in clean water to that particular village, and create a new habit which entails washing hands with soap before and after every significant event.
It will succeed because it is being done already in different parts of the world and medical research has been done before showing how effective soap use is in fighting diarrheal disease in children under 5 years of age. Diarrheal disease is the number one killer of children under 5 years of age.
Questions for the community? Is everyone willing to volunteer social media time and help spread the news of this effective way of saving lives? You can help us while you sit on sofa watching TV, resting and speaking with friends. It is time to hit Facebook and activate your Empathy button. Together we can save the children.
Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?
Children living in the poorest nations of the world will benefit from this simple habit forming task. All you need is water and soap. Our idea is to follow in the footsteps of other NGO's like Water.org and after they install the new water wells or fountains, we come in with the soap to teach mothers of children under 5 about the importance of washing hands.
It takes approximately 6-8 weeks to create a habit. The idea is to go village by village and explain the importance of washing hands to the mothers and also explain the dire consequences of not washing hands after and before each significant event ( going to toilet, washing baby bottom, fixing food, dealing with live animals etc).
We could even teach the mothers how to make their own soap. The process is not difficult. Someone clever could even create a business.
How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?
All we need is soap and about 6-8 weeks on the ground. Upon arrival we would create a study of how many people in the village wash hands regularly and then repeat the study after 6-8 weeks. During that time we would be able to see if diarrhoea cases have decreased. Creating this habit is going to a life saver and it will be successful because mothers will understand its importance.
Evidence of soaps importance can be found in Lancet-Global Health and in other research written about the importance of using soap to kill pathogens.
What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?
We would need adequate funding to cover costs of travel and living and funds to cover costs of making an advertising campaign to promote soap use. Funds would be equally necessary to cover costs of acquiring material or supplies while on the ground. We would need help to connect with an NGO like Water.org to follow in their footsteps. We would need a team of volunteers to help implement the project in different villages of India, Africa or Latin America.
Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?
Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.