Hygiene is defined as conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease. Hygiene has been shown to reduce diarrheal diseases and assist to improve social outcomes in the community. Improving hygiene faces several problems especially in countries with low income per capita of population. Currently, many developing countries already struggle to cope with consistent water shortages and rapid urbanization causing more pressure to limited resources which in turn result in poor hygienic practices in the communities. The common types of hygiene include personal hygiene, water hygiene, food hygiene, and hygiene during waste handling. Different nongovernmental and governmental organizations face different challenges in achieving high levels of hygiene in communities. Some of these challenges include poverty, lack of political commitment, lack of full community participation, inadequate gender inclusion, inadequate data, lack of coordination among actors, and behavioral issues. To reduce these challenges, several measures have been proposed including community empowerment, pushing for equitable access to hygiene needs, advocating for political commitment, promoting gender equity, and enhancing youth involvement.
Part of the book: The Relevance of Hygiene to Health in Developing Countries