United Kingdom

Uganda Network



Looking after yourself is very important - one of the most important things you can do is to wash yourself properly every day. In the United Kingdom we have a ready supply of fresh, clean water but in Uganda they're not so lucky.

One of the most widespread illness in Uganda is diarrhoea. It is more likely to affect people if they are already ill with another disease. Diarrhoea leads to dehydration (lack of water) and dehydration/ diarrhoea is a major cause of malnutrition. Diarrhoea causes fluids and essential elements to pass out of the body, and one method of oral rehydration is to mix together and drink a spoonful of sugar, a pinch of salt and clean water. This simple low cost remedy has saved the lives of many thousands of children.


This is best on a hot day when all the Cubs have been running around, wearing themselves out. Ask them to lick their arm, sometimes it is possible to taste salts on the skin. Give each Cub a glass of orange juice or squash with some sugar and salt mixed in. Explain how this will help them stay hydrated and replace the salts and sugars that they loose. Diarrhoea causes much more serious dehydration in babies and young children who can die if they are not given oral rehydration therapy. Some cans of drinks have added salts to help replace salt lost after exercise. Sports centres sometimes sell these. Compare the salt content of these drinks with other canned drinks.

Clean Water

Clean water is necessary to keep healthy but there are many other things to be taken into consideration too. These range from washing hands before eating and cleaning teeth after meals, to eating the right foods to give us a balanced diet, not eating too much food and not smoking or taking drugs as stimulants.

Cub Scouts should be aware that they have a responsibility to keep themselves healthy. Try out the next exercise asking them to work in pairs or in groups of three.



Using the chart ask the Cub Scouts to fill in the first two columns.
  • What I need to keep healthy
  • Who is responsible for providing this?

When the Cub Scouts have completed this ask them to head the third column

  • 'How I can help?' or 'What can I do?'

This section could be removed and used by the Cub Scouts as a challenge over a period of time or it could change the eating habits or daily routines at your next Pack holiday!

Following this activity ask the Cub Scouts to:

  • cook a meal without using any convenience foods (including frozen food or tins).
  • make a chart of the number of sweets and sweet drinks they consume in a week and aim to reduce this by 25%.
  • carry out a survey of the food eaten by the Cub Scouts or in their class at school. For instance 'who eats brown bread?', 'how often do you eat chips each week?'
  • make a poster for adults to encourage them to stop smoking.
  • carry out a survey of the amount of exercise undertaken each week and aim to increase this by 25%.

What makes us ill?

In the developed world much of our ill-health is due to our life-style; taking very little exercise; smoking and drinking; eating convenience foods which contain large amounts of salt and sugar; eating too many fatty foods and not eating enough fibre. In Uganda, particularly in rural areas, their lifestyles, and the foods eaten are very different from ours in the United Kingdom.


Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 3 January 2004


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