Cover Image
close this bookBasic Science and Health Education for Primary Schools Uganda (UNICEF, 1992, 162 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
View the documentLinking Volume 1 and 2 of Basic Science and Health Education Teacher's Guide
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction to Book
View the documentCHAPTER 1. My Health and Other People's
View the documentCHAPTER 2. Caring for Our Bodies
View the documentCHAPTER 3. Causes of Accidents
View the documentCHAPTER 4. Names and Sources of Food
View the documentCHAPTER 5. The Importance of Immunisation
View the documentCHAPTER 6. Cleaning Things We Use
View the documentCHAPTER 7. Family Relationships and Interactions
View the documentCHAPTER 8. The Six Immunisable Diseases
View the documentCHAPTER 9. Food Hygiene
View the documentCHAPTER 10. Helping Others to Keep Healthy
View the documentCHAPTER 11. Worms, Diarrhoea and Dehydration
View the documentCHAPTER 12. Safety and Accident Prevention
View the documentCHAPTER 13. Germs and Prevention of Disease
View the documentCHAPTER 14. Working together for Good Health
View the documentCHAPTER 15. Topic: Keeping Clean
View the documentCHAPTER 16. Malaria, Trachoma and Sleeping Sickness
View the documentCHAPTER 17. First Aid for Common Accidents
View the documentCHAPTER 18. Food Preservation and Contamination
View the documentCHAPTER 19. Injuries and Their Care
View the documentCHAPTER 20. Digestive System
View the documentCHAPTER 21. Nutrition, Health and Disease
View the documentCHAPTER 22. Worms

CHAPTER 13. Germs and Prevention of Disease

P. 3 TERM 1


By the end of this topic pupils should be able to:

1. Explain what sanitation is.
2. Explain what germs are and where they are found.
3. Explain ways by which germs spread.
4. Explain what the four Fs mean and how they spread disease.
5. Explain what rotting is.
6. Identify diseases caused by poor sanitation.
7. Demonstrate ways of controlling the spread of germs.

- personal hygiene.
- proper excreta and rubbish disposal.
- safe drinking water.
- food hygiene.

- vector control.

Behavioural Changes:

Children should:

1. Get involved in the home and school cleanliness.
2. Practice good use and care for latrines.
3. Wash their hands every time after using the toilet.
4. Avoid eating cooked foods which have been left open.
5. Know how to keep foods away from flies, dust, rats, poultry and crawling insects.
6. Be willing to clean their bodies regularly.
7. Co-operate in destroying vectors in homes/schools.

Sub Topics

a) Germs, disease and sanitation.

· What are germs?
· What is disease?
· What is sanitation?
· What is meant by poor sanitation?

b) Spreading of germs and disease.
c) Prevention of the spreading of germs and diseases.
d) How to care for a healthy environment.

Main Ideas

1. Sanitation refers to the public cleanliness in which the community is involved especially proper disposal of rubbish.

2. Germs are tiny (bacteria, fungi viruses) and are found everywhere. Some of the germs cause diseases.

3. Through low standards of sanitation, food, water, air, soil etc can be contaminated by germs and cause disease.

4. Poor sanitation causes the spread of diarrhoeal and parasitic diseases.

5. Disease caused by germs can spread through food, flies, feaces fingers (the 4Fs) bodily contact, insects and animals.

6. To prevent the spread of disease caused by germs, so as to promote a healthy environment, we must practise:

- Personal hygiene.
- Food hygiene.
- Proper excreta and rubbish disposal.
- Proper housing.
- General Cleanliness.


Sanitation is such cleanliness in the community especially of excreta and rubbish as this will favour health and prevent disease.

In order to fight the diseases, we must know about the organisms which cause them. It is important that we should know where the organisms are found, how they enter the body, what conditions favour their growth both outside and inside the body. Then we can think of ways and means of fighting them successfully.


Germs are tiny organisms some of which cause disease. None of them are large enough to be seen without a good microscope. They include the bacteria, viruses and fungi. The viruses are the smallest of all germs.

Ways in which germs are spread:

1. Air (through coughing, contaminated dust).

How organisms/germs enter our bodies:

1. Air (through coughing, contaminated dust).
2. Water (drinking/using/warding in contaminated water).
3. Bodily contact.
4. Food.
5. Human and animal excreta.
6. Insects (carrying germs to food, water etc.)



When a living thing such as a plant or animal dies, it begins to break down and this breaking down is usually accompanied by a smell. In this case we say that such a thing is rotting or decaying. This breakdown is caused by germs which use the dead living things flesh for food. Visit your school rubbish pit. You will notice the smell coming from rotting things. You will also notice flies around the pit. These flies can carry the germs from the rotten matter to our food and drinks. It is, therefore, important to have these pits far away from where we keep our foods and drinks.


Rotten animals make the affected environment unpleasant, unhealthy and the air around becomes very bad. In such an environment, disease carrying insects such as flies and animals like rats and dogs will be attracted. So it is better to have all rotting animals removed and buried or burnt. The animals so attracted will even make the place very unpleasant and filthy. We should always aim at making our environment as clean and less attractive to disease carrying organisms as possible. Remember that cleanliness brings about good health.


The four FS simply refers to the feaces, food, fingers and flies in connection to the spread of disease. When the standards of sanitation in any community are poor, feaces, food, flies and fingers can help in spreading diseases. Fingers contaminated with feaces can be used to handle food for ourselves or other people. Flies too can come from open feaces on to our food. If the food so contaminated has been infected with disease organisms, people who eat it will be infected too.

The four Fs emphasize the importance of:

a) Preparing and eating clean food.

b) Keeping the flies away from our food.

c) Washing our hands with clean water and soap every time after using the toilet, before eating or handling food for others.

d) Proper disposal of feaces by using only toilets or properly constructed pit latrines.

e) Avoiding playing in areas contaminated with feaces.

f) Washing thoroughly well such food items as vegetables and fruits like mangoes, oranges, passion fruits etc.

Prevention and spread of germs and germ diseases:

The following are some of the ways by which the spread of germs can be prevented.

Personal and Public Hygiene:

The health of a whole nation depends on the health of the individuals.

It should be the duty of each individual to keep himself or herself clean and healthy by observing simple rules of health.

Some of the things you can do to keep healthy:

· Washing hands after using toilets/latrines and before eating food.

· Keeping the body clean by:

- washing regularly.
- brushing teeth.
- keeping finger nails short.
- keeping hair clean.

· Proper use of pit latrines and urinals.

· Proper rubbish disposal (having composite pit).

· Protection of water sources and boiling drinking water.

· Food hygiene

- keeping the food well protected from germ carrying insects.
- proper food preparation.
- use of clean food utensils.
- washing hands before handling food.

· Provision of good housing (well ventilated and with enough light and room and clean compound).

· Control of vectors (like mosquitoes, tsetse flies, snails, etc) by clearing the bushes, stagnant water and avoiding playing in contaminated water.


1. Health Parades.
2. A village leader addressing the village community on ways of keeping the village clean.
3. Washing activities.
4. Removal of rubbish and animal excreta from the compound.
5. Making latrine covers, plate stand and brooms.
6. Making tooth brushes out of green sticks.
7. Boiling water for drinking.
8. Washing containers for drinking water thoroughly well.
9. Making dust bins.


1. Observations.
2. Following instructions.
3. Construction of covers, dustbins, toothbrushes.


1. Cleaning materials: brooms, soap, sponge, water, basins, razor blades, etc.

2. Banana fibre, reeds, sticks, nails, ground spears, pangas (for use when constructing a plate stand).

3. Tooth paste, tooth brushes (commercial and home made).

4. Water containers: water pots, sauce pans, jerricans etc.

5. Fuel: firewood, match box, dry grass.

6. Sword grass/lemon grass/red top grass (for making house cleaning brooms).

7. Sticks with three or more branches at the same point (for making simple dust bins).

8. Food stuffs: cassava, sweet potatoes, fruits, bananas etc, for demonstration on how to keep them clean.

9. Food utensils: plates, cups, spoons etc (for demonstration on how they can be cleaned thoroughly well with soap and water and sundried on a utensil stand).

10. Kit on diarrhoeal diseases control.


1. Testing
2. Using the home made brooms to clean the home/school compound.
3. Routine classroom and compound cleaning.


1. Cleanliness parades.
2. Inter-house or inter-class cleanliness competitions.


1. Explain what sanitation is.
2. Explain ways in which germs spread.
3. Identify diseases spread by poor sanitation.
4. Describe 5 ways of controlling the spread of germs.