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
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.
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?'
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!
activity ask the Cub Scouts to:
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.
- 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%.