Last update: 2023-06-07
- Unwashed hands
- Food or water contaminated by waste from people
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables/food washed or prepared with contaminated water
- Close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with a sick person (not passed through casual contact)
Most vulnerable to severe consequences
- Adults often develop more severe symptoms than children
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Yellowing of the skin and/or mucosae (jaundice)
** Many people (especially children) show no symptoms, even though they are infected and can spread the disease **
What can you do to prevent and control an epidemic?
Treatment and management
- Refer symptomatic cases to health facilities
- Provide psychosocial support to the sick person and their family members
Sanitation and waste management
- Promote good hand hygiene (handwashing with soap)
- BEFORE: preparing food; eating; feeding a child; treating wounds; or caring for sick people
- AFTER: using the toilet or cleaning a baby; touching garbage or waste; touching or feeding animals; blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing; treating wounds; or caring for sick people
- Encourage household water treatment for safe drinking water
- Store water in clean, covered water container
- Promote thorough cleaning, cooking, and storage of food
- Cover and store food safely (protected from insect/animal contamination)
- Use clean utensils and storage containers
- Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and complementary breastfeeding until the age of two years (especially when a child is sick)
Social mobilization and health promotion
- Find out the specific advice being given by health and other relevant authorities
- Offer support and encouragement to follow the advice
- Try to gain understanding about if and why health practice advice is not being followed
- With the guidance of your supervisor and health authorities, work with communities to overcome barriers to following health advice and recommended practices
- Support routine and mass vaccination campaigns
Mapping and community assessment
- Make a map of the community.
- Mark the following information on the map:
- How many people have fallen sick with hepatitis A? Where?
- How many people have died? Where? When?
- Who and where are the vulnerable people?
- Where are the local health facilities and services? (include traditional healers)
- Where do people obtain their drinking water?
- Record the following information on the back of the map:
- When did people start to fall sick with hepatitis A?
- How many people live in the affected community? How many are children under five years?
- Is breastfeeding common?
- Is the water source safe?
- Do people treat their drinking water?
- How do they do it?
- What sanitation facilities are available? (put communal toilets/latrines on map)
- Do people use them?
- What handwashing facilities are available? (put communal handwashing stations on map)
- Do they have soap?
- What are the community’s habits, practices and beliefs about caring for and feeding sick people? Consider any differences in roles and responsibilities between men and women.
- When babies and infants are sick, do women continue to breastfeed them?
- Is a social mobilization or health promotion programme in place?
- Is a vaccination programme planned or in place?
- What are the habits, practices and beliefs about hygiene, sanitation and water?
- What are the barriers people face in accessing water points and sanitation and hygiene facilities, of all gender identities, ages, disabilities and backgrounds
- Which sources do people use/trust the most for information?
- Are there rumours or misinformation about Hepatitis A? What are the rumours?