Where there is no doctor


Or how to set up and run a health service properly!

Sample Lists of Questions

To Help Determine Community Health Needs and at the Same Time Get People Thinking


What things in your people’s daily lives (living conditions, ways of doing things, beliefs, etc.) do they feel help them to be healthy?

What do people feel to be their major problems, concerns, and needs—not only those related to health, but in general?


What are different houses made of? Walls? Floors? Are the houses kept clean? Is cooking done on the floor or where? How does smoke get out? On what do people sleep?

Are flies, fleas, bedbugs, rats, or other pests a problem? In what way? What do people do to control them? What else could be done?

Is food protected? How could it be better protected?

What animals (dogs, chickens, pigs, etc.), if any, are allowed in the house? What problems do they cause?

What are the common diseases of animals? How do they affect people’s health? What is being done about these diseases?

Where do families get their water? Is it safe to drink? What precautions are taken?

How many families have latrines? How many use them properly? Is the village clean? Where do people put garbage? Why?


How many people live in the community? How many are under 15 years old?

How many can read and write? What good is schooling? Does it teach children what they need to know? How else do children learn?

How many babies were born this year? How many people died? Of what? At what ages? Could their deaths have been prevented? How?

Is the population (number of people) getting larger or smaller? Does this cause any problems?

How often were different persons sick in the past year? How many days was each sick? What sickness or injuries did each have? Why?

How many people have chronic (long-term) illnesses? What are they?
How many children do most parents have? How many children died? Of what? At what

ages? What were some of the underlying causes?
How many parents are interested in not having any more children or in not having them

so often? For what reasons? (See Family Planning, p. 283.)


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How many mothers breast feed their babies? For how long? Are these babies healthier than those who are not breastfed? Why?

What are the main foods people eat? Where do they come from? Do people make good use of all foods available?

How many children are underweight (p. 109) or show signs of poor nutrition? How much do parents and school children know about nutritional needs?

How many people smoke a lot? How many drink alcoholic or soft drinks very often? What effect does this have on their own and their families’ health? (See p. 148 to 150.)


Does the land provide enough food for each family?
How long will it continue to produce enough food if families keep growing?

How is farm land distributed? How many people own their land?
What efforts are being made to help the land produce more?
How are crops and food stored? Is there much damage or loss? Why?


What role do local midwives and healers play in health care?

What traditional ways of healing and medicines are used? Which are of greatest value? Are any harmful or dangerous?

What health services are nearby? How good are they? What do they cost? How much are they used?

How many children have been vaccinated? Against what sicknesses?
What other preventive measures are being taken? What others might be taken? How important are they?


What are the most important things that affect your people’s health and well-being—now and in the future?

How many of their common health problems can people care
for themselves? How much must they rely on outside help and medication?

Are people interested in finding ways of making self-care safer, more effective and more complete? Why? How can they learn more? What stands in the way?

What are the rights of rich people? Of poor people? Of men? Of women?
Of children? How is each of these groups treated? Why? Is this fair? What needs to be changed? By whom? How?

Do people work together to meet common needs? Do they share or help each other when needs are great?

What can be done to make your village a better, healthier place to live? Where might you and your people begin? ”

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