Preventing Acute Gastroenteritis and Cholera in Kathmandu through Youth-led Mobilization Initiatives
Newer, innovative methods of communication make old messages sticky and initiate behavioural changes needed for ensuring healthier communities
There is an imminent need to improve the sanitary and hygienic practices of people living in the urban slums of Kathmandu valley to ensure that cholera outbreaks do not take place every year, and to also in general reduce the high prevalence of waterborne diseases.
Aiming to address these issues, UNICEF in partnership with Yuwalaya, a youth-led organization, designed and implemented an innovative social mobilization campaign over a period of six months.
Between June and November 2017, spread across the pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons, various innovative youth-led activities were carried out in areas that were considered to be hot-spots for cholera across seven municipalities of Kathmandu Valley.
These activities included wall comics, flash mobs, forum theatres and slampoetry sessions. The objective behind these so-called ‘infotainment’ activities was to ensure that people had the correct knowledge as well as positive attitudes in relation to sanitary and hygienic practices that would allow them to protect themselves, their families and communities from cholera outbreaks which are almost an annual feature during the monsoons in certain areas of Kathmandu Valley.
Apart from increasing knowledge on safe water and hygienic practices, young people who designed, led and implemented these initiatives, developed key life skills like selfconfidence in public speaking, expressing emotions, critical and creative thinking, and influencing people.