Structured participation in community health clubs

2018-02-12T15:09:21Z (GMT) by Juliet Waterkeyn
Zimbabwe A.H.E.A.D is a Non Governmental Organisation which has pioneered a innovative methodology mobilising rural people through the establishment of ‘Community Health Clubs’. The organisation aims to improve family health through the provision of health education leading to safe sanitation and improved hygiene. This emphasis is reinforced by recent WHO studies confirming that whilst water quantity reduces diarrhoea by only 15% and water quality by 27%, sanitation is by far the most effective sole intervention with 37% reduction and good hygiene almost as effective with 35% success. (Esrey:1998). Within the past two years, 200 Community Health Clubs have been established in 5 Districts of Zimbabwe, with around 10,000 members. They are proving that not only do they stimulate a strong demand for improved sanitation but that they actually promote positive behavioural changes leading to greatly improved levels of hygiene in the home. This paper analyses Community Health Club from a social perspective, demonstrating how and why they are formed. It also explores the reasons for the popularity of the clubs and looks at the psychology behind the success of this new methodology.