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29 March 2014


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Hi all, thanks for your feedback.

Peter, an interesting read about the English. The Israeli army was commanded to dispose of their waste in a hygienic manner also and this was used by one of our health workers in Durukope (Filister range - Madang) to great effect.

Might write about as it's a story worth telling.

A very good story to serve as a motivation for many of our health workers in remote and rural areas who are poorly resourced and hardly acknowledged for their contribution.

And while on health, our aid posts in the districts and rural areas have disappeared. Maybe our electoral MPs should consider investing in reviving that important area of the health system to help in arresting the many preventable deaths and diseases!

Could also serve as a teaser for workshops or training for health professionals.

Interestingly the English won many of their campaigns against France in the middle ages by being able to put more healthy soldiers in the field.

The reasons? Because they insisted that camp latrines be built downstream of sources of water.

And there's much debate about the role played by Thomas Crapper.


This was a great story Emma, told with mastery.

Very strong concluding lines in wonderfully poetic prose.

At the end of it I learned a lesson which makes this story read like an essay too.

Thanks Emma. I feel that they don't understand germs. Germs are unseen. They are dealing with the "unseen" that causes death. It is probably easier to accept the "sanguma did it" than the "germ did it".
I think there should be a team from the Health Department travelling around the country with a couple of good microscopes. People should be shown micro-organisms.

They should be taught that some of these micro-organisms can cause death. They should be shown how micro-organisms love to live in human waste. They should be shown the way to guard against these micro-organisms getting onto our hands and onto our food and into our mouths and causing our sickness.

They should learn that toilets are a way to guard ourselves against the wicked germs, and we must remember to wash our hands after we have been to the toilet.

Excellent Emma.

Once when I was teaching in the UK, the headmaster of our school invited a notable doctor to give a lecture to the students.

It happened to be Doctor Denis Burkitt, known as the Fibre Man. He had done extensive research across Africa and had found that many bowel diseases could be traced to a lack of fibre in western diets.

But his lecture was all about poo. And he illustrated this with many lovingly-framed photos of poo samples he had collected across Africa in his studies, and compared this with pictures of English poo. All in full colour.

The kids were astounded, the Head was aghast. The shit hit the fan.

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