Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

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VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Essential Healthcare - Zoonotic Diseases
Infection prevention and control
Spreading awareness of the signs and symptoms of animal allergies

Spreading awareness of the signs and symptoms of animal allergies


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

Allergies appear to be increasing amongst all populations. Some research suggests this is increasing as personal hygiene improves. This research suggests that as we rid ourselves of parasites and infections perhaps our bodies then fight other threats such as allergens from the environment.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications
  • The willingness of local communities to accept the introduction of organisms into water containers is essential.
  • Community involvement is desirable when distributing the control organisms and in monitoring and restocking containers when necessary.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Natural resource depletion

Summary of Impacts
Potential environmental impacts
  • Waste generation is due to the production of information, education, and communication materials for the spread of awareness of the signs and symptoms of animal allergies (such as leaflets, packaging, printed paper…).
  • Waste generation from procurement, use, and disposal of allergy treatments, some of which are ineffective.
Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information
  • When information messages are delivered using materials that are not compatible with the preferences of the people, new waste streams may start to appear (printed paper or packaging). This may negatively affect the environment due to the accumulation of waste. Additionally, unnecessary waste can be avoided by prioritising in-person training and avoiding the use of paper and plastic (using more durable materials or through videos).
  • When people use items that are ineffective in treating the symptoms of allergies, this leads to waste, and often too poor waste management, which can contribute to the increase in disease vectors and disease spread.


Summary of environmental activities

Consult communities to determine the most effective communication channels.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities
  • Assess the most appropriate methods of communicating behaviour change and health information to communities. Consider using community theatre, radio, social media, mobile loudspeakers, billboards, murals (lead-free paint), house-to-house campaigners or trainings, and other means that minimise the distribution of leaflets and materials.
  • When producing communication elements such as leaflets, printed papers, and packaging, determine which are the most effective ways of communicating the messages by understanding the perception and needs of people.
  • Create recycling or reusing campaigns for those delivered items (they can be recycled or reused in the future).
  • Design communications materials based on community preferences at the same time as minimising resources used and waste generated.
Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

There are many reports of allergies be increasing amongst all populations, perhaps linked to people’s improved hygiene. This research suggests that as we rid ourselves of parasites and infections perhaps our bodies then fight other threats such as allergens from the environment.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

The number of people/percentage of assistance recipients consulted on communication preferences.

Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Prevention of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

Given that any effective public health campaign should be developed based on a survey of the most effective means of communicating with the target audience, there should be no significant additional cost implications. The costs of design and printing could instead be dedicated to social media management, renting mobile loudspeakers, or hiring a part-time social media officer.

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