How Getting Back to Basics can Better Promote Health
Remembering the simple innovations that play a critical role in improving health
By Medline Newsroom Staff | February 4, 2020
Though it may seem only complex technologies and large scale solutions can change health outcomes, simple everyday acts – such as handwashing, brushing teeth, or preparing healthy meals – can also be quite significant. Routine hand washing alone could prevent one million deaths according toresearchers. Regular tooth brushing can prevent tooth decay, which affects between 60 and 90 percent of schoolchildren worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
In fact numerous health issues contributing to the global burden of disease can be prevented through teaching and exercising basic hygiene practices, making education a powerful social determinant of health. Increasing access to health knowledge, especially in communities that lack it, has the potential to improve overall health. To that end, Medline is partnering with nonprofits to bring basic health education to vulnerable communities around the world.
One partner Medline has worked with is Project C.U.R.E., an international non-profit that donates medical supplies and equipment. Together the two organizations hosted a series of basic health education workshops in Belize. Medline employees from across the United States volunteered to host these workshops in rural communities near San Ignacio, Belize’s second largest city. Over 300 people – nearly a third of them children aged 14 and below – attended with their families to learn about fundamental health practices like personal hygiene, handwashing, oral care, eye care, nutrition, and basic first aid. At the same time, families also had a chance to visit a mobile clinic on site, which funded and run by a local health facility.
The children may benefit the most from the knowledge and skills they gain during these workshops. Research has shown that learning personal hygiene practices during childhood can play a decisive role in reducing infant mortality and increasing life expectancy.
“We hope these simple yet life-saving lessons turn into daily habits so they can pass it on to the next generation,” said Francesca Olivier, Medline’s director of corporate social responsibility and innovation.