🌏 Healthabitat Blog #️⃣3️⃣: Safety and the 9 ‘Healthy Living Practices’

At the heart of the Housing for Health methodology are Safety and the 9 Healthy Living Practices (HLPs).  These link the safety and health of people to the functions of key parts of the house and surrounding living environment.

The HLPs are prioritized to maximize the health benefit for any resources used for improvement. On any project there is never enough time or money! Specifically, the CPC Navajo Nation project will use Safety and the first four of 9 HLP’s as guiding principles in prioritizing what is fixed over the week of the challenge, as follows:

Safety: when designing, upgrading or maintaining a house, immediate, life-threatening dangers are given the highest priority; electrocution, gas explosion and asphyxiation, injury from fire and structural collapse.

    1. Washing People; being able to use functioning washing facilities reduces the spread of diseases, including diarrhoeal disease, respiratory disease, hepatitis and infections. Diarrhoeal and respiratory diseases, in particular, are the major causes of illness amongst Indigenous children and also play a major role in the malnutrition experienced in the first 3 years of life.
    2. Washing Clothes and Bedding; being able to regularly wash clothes and bedding can help reduce the incidence of infectious diseases, such as diarrhoeal disease, respiratory infections, scabies and other skin infections.
    3. Removing waste water safely; waste water leaks and overflows around the living environment can make people sick. Disease-causing bacteria can be transmitted if people or animals come into direct contact with waste water or if the drinking water supply is contaminated with waste water.
    4. Improving Nutrition, the ability to store, prepare and cook food; poor nutrition is one factor contributing to people having high rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and renal disease. Poor nutrition is also a major cause of infectious diseases in children.  In remote communities, choosing a healthy diet is complicated by factors such as low incomes, the cost of food, local store management practices and the ability to store, prepare and cook food at home.

The remaining five HLPs address Reducing the impact of crowdingReducing the impact of animals, insects and verminReducing the impact of dustImproved temperature control, and Reducing minor trauma.

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