This study was designed to examine the effects of sanitation practises on students’ health. The population for the study was 197 students. Non stratified ransom sampling technique was used to select 100 students comprising of 20 students each. Questionnaire consisting of 30 items was used to elicit information from the respondents. Cronbach alpha was used to determine the reliability of the instrument which yielded 0.76 coefficients. The data collected was analysed using mean statistics. The study identified various causes of poor sanitation, the effects of sanitation on student health, the ways in which the school management has provided equipment/facilities to enhance sanitation as well as the strategies for improving school sanitation so as to reduce the negative effects of poor sanitation on student health. The study recommended the following; the school management has to ensure that the various ways of improving sanitation within the institution are used in synergy, the school management has to ensure that those in charge of cleaning the school environment are adequately monitored as well as adequate provision of funds by the Government for the procurement of facilities that will enhance proper sanitation.
Basic sanitation is defined as the presence of facilities for the safe disposal of human waste and the ability to maintain hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection, industrial/hazardous waste management, and wastewater treatment and disposal.(World Health Organization & UNICEF, 2012).According to WHO and UNICEF (2012), without immediate acceleration in progress, the world will not achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal (MDG) sanitation target (i.e., to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to basic sanitation by 2015). Basic Sanitation is very important in all places and environments especially schools.
School sanitation on the other hand refers to the sanitary practices that take place within the school. Coppens (2005) consider School Sanitation and Hygiene Education as the combination of hardware and software components that are necessary to produce a healthy school environment to develop or support safe hygiene behaviour. The author is of the view that hardware components include supply of drinking water and facilities for hand washing and safe disposal of excreta and solid waste in and around the school compound. The software components are the activities that promote hygienic conditions at schools as well as practices of school staff and children that help to prevent water and sanitation related diseases and parasites. Poor sanitation in school environment will have certain negative influences on learning
Learning in an unhygienic environment can affect learning in a lot of ways. Snel (2004) indicate that “health influences learning and education influences health which is indicated in the fact that poor sanitation causes diarrhoea which keeps students in hospitals rather than in schools”. He also noted that diarrhoea kills 1.5 million children each year. It is obvious that a sick person cannot learn properly. Poor sanitation could also lead to waterborne diseases (like typhoid, cholera,), infections with intestinal worms, stunted growth and malnutrition. (Sharma, 2015).More than five million people die each year from diseases related to inadequate waste disposal systems (WHO, 2007).There are so many indications of poor sanitation in most schools.
Sanitation system generally involves faeces collection, transport and treatment (Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, 2008).The main objectives of a sanitation system is to protect and promote human health by providing a clean environment and breaking the cycle of disease. In choosing the particular system to use, a lot of factors have to be considered. The factors to be considered include; experience of the user, excreta and wastewater collection methods, transportation or conveyance of waste, treatment and reuse or disposal of wastes. Not minding the type of system chosen, sanitation is of various types.
In the University of uyo, a lot of places are littered with pure water polythene, pieces of papers and so on. In school hostels, there are problems of over- crowding and these affects the health of the students in the hostel. Many students share few toilets which leads to the spread of diseases among students. As a result learning is usually affected because a sick person only thinks of how to get cured and not what to learn in the classroom.
Therefore, the researcher seeks to find out the implication of sanitation practices on students health in University of uyo. Due to the fact that poor sanitation could affect not only the student’s health but also their attendance to lectures and exams, it became necessary to find out ways in which environmental sanitation can be improved in the University of uyo.
2. Statement of the Problem
Waste disposal, refuse disposal as well as inadequate water supply are problems in our environment especially in institutions. It is caused by a lot of factors. These include neglect of the operation and maintenance of health facilities, lack of hygiene education for the students, non-existent or insufficient water supply, poor sanitation and inadequate hand washing facilities, dirty and unsafe water supply; toilets or latrines that are not adapted to the needs of students as well as unhealthy and dirty classrooms/school compounds. These factors have led to consequences on student health.
Diseases related to poor sanitation and water availability causes many sicknesses like cholera, diarrhoea, malaria and typhoid. All these diseases greatly affect the health of students. Students cannot even learn properly because they are sick. Even learning in unhealthy environments leads to student not even understanding what they are being taught and in extreme cases it could lead to students’ mortality. Snel (2004) and Water Aid Uganda (2013) noted that diarrhoea which is caused by poor sanitation kills 1.5 million children each year. Based on the negative effects of poor sanitation on the health of students, something has to be done.
However, it is not clear on the extent in which school management have contributed in curbing poor sanitation practices. A lot of literature available talks about environmental sanitation strategies but most of them have been done in the wider communities and not in institutions of learning (Sanni, 2015). Therefore, the study seeks to find out the strategies which could be employed to improve sanitation in the University of Nigeria Nsukka in order to reduce its effects on students’ health.
2. Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study is to find out how sanitation practices affect students health in University of uyo. Specifically this study seeks to:
- Identify the causes of poor sanitation practices in University of uyo.
- Identify the effects of poor sanitation practices on students’ health in University of uyo.
- Ascertain the ways in which the school management have contributed in providing facilities that will enhance sanitation practices in University of uyo.
- Find out the strategies that could be employed to enhance sanitation practices among students in University of uyo.
3. Research Questions
The study will be guided by the following research questions;
- What are the causes of poor sanitation practices in University of uyo?
- What are the effects of poor sanitation practices on students’ health in University of uyo?
- In what ways have the school management contributed in providing facilities that will enhance sanitation practices in University of uyo?
- What are the strategies that could be employed to improve sanitation in University of uyo?
Case study design was adopted for the study. It was conducted in University of uyo. The population for the study was 197 students all from the faculty of Science. Non stratified random sampling was used to select 100 respondents comprising of 20 students each from the 5 departments within the faculty. The specific purposes turned into 4 research questions were posed and answered. A 30 item questionnaire was developed from literature to obtain data for the study. The scale for the questionnaire was Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D) and Strongly Disagree (SD).
The questionnaire was face validated by three experts from the faculty of science, University of uyo. Cronbach alpha was used to determine internal consistency of the questionnaire which yielded 0.76 coefficients. The questionnaire was administered on 100 respondents and there was 77% return rate which equates to 77 respondents Mean statistics was used to answer the research questions. Arithmetic mean of 2.5 was used to interpret the analysed data. Items with a mean of 2.5 and above were accepted while items having their mean below 2.5 were rejected.
Research Question 1: What are the causes of poor sanitation practices in University of uyo?
Table 1: Mean ratings of the responses of respondents on the causes of poor sanitation practices in University of uyo[email protected].
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