Preventing illness is key to saving lives. It can also improve you and your family’s well-being.
Prevention stops an illness before it begins. Prevention includes simple, cost-effective steps taken by an individual. It minimizes the need for treatment, which may be expensive or not easily accessible, and reduces suffering.
COMMUNICABLE VS NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Non-communicable diseases cannot be spread between people. Cancer and heart disease are examples.
Communicable diseases can pass between people. They are caused by infectious microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses or fungi. These are tiny organisms which can only be seen with a microscope.
Some are spread directly between people, through direct contact, like touching or kissing, or through contact with bodily fluids. Others are spread indirectly through the air, insects, food or water.
WAYS TO PREVENT ILLNESS
MAINTAINING A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM
Your immune system is how your body protects itself against illness. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and not smoking are just 3 things that can be done to keep your immune system healthy.
It is important to practice good hygiene to kill harmful microorganisms. Washing your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds is effective. You should always wash your hands before eating or preparing food, and after you have been to the toilet or touched animals.
REMEMBER: SOME DISEASES SPREAD THROUGH FOOD AND WATER
Cholera and typhoid can spread through dirty water, and E. Coli through food. You should only drink clean water from a well or public tap, and store water safely in clean, sealed containers. You should never eat food that has been exposed to dirt or flies, or under-cooked meat.
A vaccine is an inactive microorganism that is injected into your body so it can practice defending against the disease. Your body can then kill it more quickly if it appears again. Vaccinations are available for many diseases, on a village-by-village basis.
There are many easy, cheap ways that you can prevent illness in you and your family.