Pledge to support cough hygiene and WASH for all homeless!

I pledge to support cough hygiene and WASH for all homeless!

WASH means Water [Awareness] Sanitation and Hygiene.. 

Prevent disease with WASH education and Cough Etiquette/Respiratory Hygiene.

Fight influenza. Meningitis. Pneumonia.Tuberculosis. These diseases threaten no one more than those we call "The Homeless".

This campaign action was established before last year's national influenza epidemic,  in response to reckless disregard for cough "etiquette" on the part of staff and management of the Freedom Warming Center operated by the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara. The problem, however, is worldwide. 

Operators of crowded shelters everywhere one goes don't want to be required to meet uniform standards of biosecurity even in places like California where it is required by law. And, as churches, they feel they are above the law. Result: more disease.

The national flu epidemic last winter demonstrated in 47 states that the houseless are hit hard by airborne infectious diseases. We had conducted a cough hygiene education program via Project HEAL and when the flu epidemic missed California we jokingly took credit.

But sadly,  the failure of the flu to hit Cslifornia so hatd allowed our detractors opportunity to continue avoidance of the reforms we sought. All of it is spelled out in California occupational law,which is completely ignored by the earning center. And, as it turned out, the one place influenza-pneumonia did hit was suggested by the fact that the public health nurses in both North County and South County of Santa Barbara were stricken, as this writer reported to the county Board of Supervisors. Many people who had been reluctant to criticize the churches for opening their doors to the homeless were coming to the conclusion that the hygiene problem was more important than generally realized.

 Right after California dodged the national influenza epidemic, an alarming outbreak of tuberculosis hit the Los Angeles skid row. 

The public health community watched the global threat of laboratory-created super-virus H5N2, SARS-like novel coronavirus and more recently, the return of polio. Multi Drug Resistant (MDR-TB) and Extremely Drug Resistant Tuberculosis are expanding rapidly, with caseloads in the hundreds of thousands. Antibiotic resistance is itself a growing menace to the human race and domestic animals.

The good news is that hygiene behaviour can be improved and that can make a huge difference.

Community health education in WASH (water,sanitation and hygiene) prevents disease . It should not be suppressed or censored. Services provided to the houseless should not become vectors of disease. "Congregate shelters" often do become the source of horrible outboutbreaks

Houseless neighbors respond enthusiastically to WASH training (Water, Sanitation and Handwashing) to prevent disease transmission. The key is teaching folks to cough properly and provide the means for them to wash their hands at community meals and shelters. Warming center staff need to protect themselves, their clients and the community at large by implementing disease control guidelines.

 Act now and wake up your own local homeless services establishment which is trying to suppress warnings about infectious disease on almost every jurisdiction

Your pledge will help . Please Repost and Invite your Facebook contacts.

Thank you in advance,

Geof Bard,

Coordinator, Cough Hygiene Initiative

Photos are unsheltered people who received a free LED headlamp in participation in the  Cough Hygiene Intitiative rollout

 ......

.Items below this line are pending delete/move for the sake of brevity.

In Jacksonville, Florida, 99 cases of tuberculosis were not reported to the satisfaction of many observers, leading to 13 deaths. According to assessment published by the Center for Disease Control, a similar outbreak in New York State could have been averted with dissemination of better infection control practices. In Santa Barbara, California, the " Freedom Warming Centers " suppressed dissemination of cough hygiene education as a national epidemic of influenza swept across the country. To yhis day they have not responded to requests to review disease control measures such as handwashing and flu shots.

And as reported in the Los Angeles Times, the LA Rescue Mission lost track of 4,650 persons who may have been exposed to an active infectious tuberculosis case.

3 comments

to comment