Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Did I hear that right?

Studying at one of the leading public health institutions can be an amusing experience at times. There are always topics of discussion that can be a bit odd and if taken completely out of context quite strange.

I was with a group of students sitting at a table in the common room this evening when we were approached by another girl who asked "Are you doing AIDS?". Taken out of context, slightly inappropriate. But given the situation, okay. Alot of group work happens particularly with the epidemiology students where they are all focusing on specific diseases or viruses at particular times of the year. Earlier this year there was an "outbreak" throughout the school involving approximately 200 students. That was an interesting experience, being constantly approached by other students trying to figure out what it was, where it originated from and who was "infected" or not.

Today in one of our classes which was actually on program planning, we ended up on the topic of the importance of hygiene and sanitation. In the UK, 80% of men don't BOTHER to wash their hands even though they have all the necessary resources. Over 40% of the world don't even have access to safe, private or hygienic places to go to the toilet, instead using rivers, bushes, plastic bags and the like. Poor quality water, hygiene and sanitation practices are strongly linked to poor health, mortality and even impaired nutrition.

We came across The Golden Poo Awards in our class and watched one of their previous entries. This is an initiative by PooP Creative and London Short Films Festival to raise awareness on the importance of handwashing and good hygiene in a funny, catchy or "infectious" way. I found it quite funny and thought I would share. If you feel inspired yourself to make your own film, they are currently open for the 2012 submissions which will be used to form part of Global Handwashing Day (October 15th) and World Toilet Day (November 19th).

Enjoy, and don't forget to wash your hands!

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