iCHORDS | Nurturing Healthy Habits in Early Childhood: Playful ways to teach hygiene to young children and prevent disease

19 Jan 2023, 10am EST / 3pm UTC
virtual event

Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide, and it is most prevalent in poor areas where access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services is limited. Repeated infections increase the risk for vision loss, and young children (aged 1-9) are especially vulnerable to infection. Currently, most health education programs do not specifically target the youngest children.

However, studies have shown that habits acquired during the first few years of life are more likely to become permanent habits that persist into adulthood. This period of life is thus crucial for adopting healthy behaviours, which can then significantly improve a person’s long-term health by preventing diseases such as trachoma. For these reasons, a pilot was launched in northern Ethiopia that targeted the youngest children. This presentation will highlight best practices and learnings from this project.

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Liat Rennert, MPH - Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Liat has a Master’s degree in Public Health specializing in Emergency and Disaster Management from Tel Aviv University. For over a decade, Liat has worked in the development and humanitarian aid fields with multiple organizations including NALA, the JDC and IsraAID. Her field experience includes work coordinating emergency relief and public health efforts in Haiti, Greece, USA, Israel and Ethiopia, where she has lived for the past 5 years. Liat is currently working as NALA’s Humanitarian Program Manager and overseeing the organization’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Northern Ethiopia. She is deeply committed to dedicating her personal and professional life to global development and humanitarian aid.