These simple bags are allowing household doctors like Ri to quickly and effectively deliver healthcare to those who need it most, giving young children the chance to survive and thrive.
In addition to the bag, Dr Ri has also received UNICEF supported training, which she says has helped her identify children with nutrition problems. All up, the training was provided to 2,700 household doctors focussing on teaching them how to counsel parents about how best to keep their children healthy and safe.
No topic too taboo
"The job isn’t easy but after treatment,
the families are very happy. That
makes me feel proud of my job."
Aaron Moore isn’t afraid to talk about the subjects that make some people cringe. The UNICEF Australia International Programs Manager is focused on improving sanitation habits in communities across the Asia Pacific region. This includes working to end people defecating out in the open and supporting girls and women in ways to improve menstrual hygiene.
“It can be a little bit taboo because these are personal habits that often take place out of sight,”
Aaron says, adding that people in communities he visits often feel uncomfortable discussing where they do or don’t go to the toilet, and once aware of the consequences of going to the toilet in the open, can feel ashamed.
But shame isn’t necessarily a bad thing, he adds, as it quickly gives way to an understanding of the problem and a desire to do something about it.
In Laos for instance, some communities identify those practising open defecation by calling them out in public. While it is uncomfortable, Aaron says, it serves as a powerful motivator for community change, especially since the individual’s behaviour has implications for the whole community.