The 19th June was a hot day and at 10 o’clock in the morning it had started to go over 35 degrees Celsius. Yet the women from around had gathered and filled the seminar room of the Institute of Mother & Child Care (I-MACCA). These women had come there to attend the seminar on “Good Health Habits” that had been arranged by the Helping Hands Foundation (HHF), a not for profit organization working for the health, education & community empowerment.

The seminar was divided into 2 sessions. The first session was to make the women aware of the main health issue posed to them due to the lack of hygienic practices especially the hand hygiene. It also aimed to familiarize the ladies with the threat of the diseases & problems posed to them due to these detrimental practices. The second session’s objective was to share the importance of cleanliness to avoid the gynecological infections/diseases.

As planned during the first session, Mrs. Ayesha Waheed, the coordinator of the program, highlighted the importance of hand hygiene and the disease that the bad hand hygiene can spread. Then she discussed with women the special occasions when hand washing is very necessary such as before cooking, eating or after going to toilet. Lator she demonstrated the correct way of washing hands.

The most important part of this session was the last part when the women were asked to stand & demonstrate the right way of hand washing. Yet another great thing was at the end of the 2 sessions.  The partakers practiced & demonstrated practical peer-guided hand washing in front of the facilitators with soap and water. Another aspect that is very important to avoid the spread of the disease and was touched in the same presentation was how to control the spread of germs during flu and cough season in public places. Here the women were taught the right ways to sneeze and cough with practical demonstration.

Dr. Amna Mahmood Awan, who is a pediatrician, ultrasonologist, business entrepreneur and a great social worker, facilitated the second session. She gave a meticulous and educational talk on gynecological issues arising due to insanitary practices. She talked in length about the whole physiology and structure of the female genital tract with pictures & board in the language that these illiterate women could understand. She also stressed the preventive measures to avoid & remain saved from the genital tract infections, especially the clean habits. Her discussion helped women identify their problems and get the required medical treatment.

The last part was very lively as it was an open question answer session. The women had lot many questions especially pertaining to the personal cleanliness habits that can save & protect them from diseases. The women were realizing that it is much better to adopt these simple habits & be guarded from the attacks of germs. They learnt that the minor change in their lifestyle can help them & their families to remain healthy while saving a lot of budget that is spent on the medicines.

The women expressed that it is a great opportunity for them to learn what I-MACCA offers in terms of helpful tips on how to keep themselves and their surroundings clean. The participants also learned about the free services and medical care that the I-MACCA offers to the community.