Healthy Homes in Tropical Zones: Improving Rural Housing in Asia and Africa
Early nomadic shelters, including caves, animal skin tents, and igloos, were used for protection against the wind, rain, snow, sun- light, and other forces of nature. These basic homes also provided defence against pr edators and wer e used to stor e a few impor - tant possessions. They wer e temporar y, and pr oximity to a water sour ce was of prime impor tance. Health and comfort were not yet under consideration. As civili- zation evolved, housing became mor e per manent, with incr easing attention to well-being. The housing and utilities available in rich countries are vastly different from those in poorer settings. Unlike in industrialised countries where piped-in water, indoor toilets, and sewage systems are the norm, in the developing world these facili- ties are often not available. Waterborne enteric diseases, prevent- able by the supply of safe water, hand washing, and appropriate sanitation, continue to be a major disease bur den in poor coun- tries. V ector-borne diseases that can be controlled by screening and other bar rier methods also remain an important health pro- blem. Safe, comfor table, and healthy homes are an essential re- quisite for healthy living around the world, irrespective of culture or socio-economic status.