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Nov 16, 2014

Communication for Development (C4D) - Just an organized thought for Nepal

Situational Description:

Nepal is a land-locked developing country in Southeast Asia with a population of approximately 29.8 million. Around the country, thousands of population still relies on unimproved sources for drinking water. It is reported that 49 % of the total population opt for open defecation, more so in the rural areas (57 %). Only 17 % of populations have sewage connection in urban areas, whereas it is almost non – existent in rural areas. One such district would be "Jajarkot" as an example.

“Tragedy called Jajarkot”

Jajarkot is one of the hilly districts of Bheri Zone in Mid-western Region of Nepal. Khalanga is it’s headquarter. It has 29 village development committee (VDCs). Each VDC has 9 wards which are the smallest geographical units. The total population was 1,34,868 (CBS 2001). Now, the expected population nears 1,51,511 (2009). This district is a confluence of people with different cultural background inter twined with various faiths from majority Hindu population to some who have faith in traditional healers. Jajarkot is also one of the districts in the bottom list with low Human Developmental Index in the country. The poorest people, considered “untouchables” often live in the worst environments, crowded together, lacking adequate shelter, do not have clean water or sanitation, and suffer malnutrition—ideal circumstances for infectious disease transmission. This is the district where thousands of people suffered from cholera outbreak and even hundreds of people died in the year 2009 and 2010.

Key problems to be addressed:

1.      Cholera along with other water borne illnesses is endemic in Nepal. Disease outbreaks 
      affect different parts of the country almost every year during August – October. 

2.   Since for example cholera has propensity to cause outbreaks and ability to rapidly lead to death, if therapy is not initiated immediately. This disease has caused fear in the communities that are and were affected in the past and present. While individual households are burdened by the costs of taking care of the sick, the impact of cholera and similar illnesses in the economy of the state is tremendous. Direct costs due to hospitalization and preventive care to be incurred by the state during epidemic would be huge in amount, while at the same time, it may hit hard the tourism and food industry.

The strategic approach & theoretical basis to solve the problem:

We may apply ecological model here. This model focuses on the individual and the socio - cultural surroundings and environmental factors as the targets for any interventions. People become proactive towards healthy behavior, provided environment and policy support healthy lifestyle. It usually takes the combination of both individual – level and environmental / policy – level interventions to achieve visible changes in health behavior.

Table. 1 An Ecological perspective: Levels of Influence on human behavior
Intrapersonal Level
Individual characteristics that influence behavior, such as knowledge, attitude, beliefs and personality traits
Interpersonal Level
Interpersonal processes and primary groups, including family, friends and peers that provide social identity, support and role definition
Community Level

Institutional factors
Rules, regulations, policies, and informal structures, which may constrain or promote recommended behaviors
Community factors
Social networks and norms, or standards, which exists as formal or informal among individuals, groups and organization
Public policy
Local. State and federal policies and laws that regulate or support healthy actions and practices for disease prevention, early detection, control and management
Source: Karen Glanz, Theory at Glance: A Guide for Health Education Practice, 2nd Edition

Anuj in Himalayas

Hi i am connecting disqus with my blog for healthy interaction and open dialogue