Assessment Of The Effectiveness Of Environmental Sanitation In The Control Of Malaria

Project and Seminar Material for Environmental Science

Assessment Of The Effectiveness Of Environmental Sanitation In The Control Of Malaria


This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness environmental sanitation practices on malaria prevention and control in Abeokuta metropolis, Ogun State, Nigeria.

A descriptive cross-sectional study design was adopted for the study; A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to generate data from 450 adult respondents who were selected using multi-stage sampling technique. An observational checklist was used to assess the sanitary condition of residential dwellings and facilities. Data generated was entered into excel spread sheet and exported to Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version 20.0) software for analysis. Results were presented in frequencies, tables and charts.

Chi-square was used to test for association between variables at 0.05 α level. It was revealed that 283 (62.9%) respondents exhibited poor environmental sanitation practices while 167 (37.1%) had good environmental sanitation practices. It also was observed that age (p=0.023), gender (p=0.000), educational status (p=0.000) and income (p=0.000) were found to be statistically significantly associated with environmental sanitation practices. Hence, malaria intervention programmes should be redesigned or remodeled to include the core components of environmental sanitation to prevent mosquito breeding and mitigate malaria transmission in rural areas.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Malaria still remains a significant public health problem especially in low and middle income countries. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), malaria transmission in Nigeria is abysmally high with over 76% of the population reporting more than 1 case per 1,000 populations annually. There was a less than 50% decrease in projected incidence of malaria from 2000–2015. Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo account for more than 35% of the global total of estimated malaria deaths.

Malaria is principally caused by protozoa (Plasmodium species) and is transmitted through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito (Mwangangi et al., 2013). Within the tropics and sub-tropics, human malaria is seen to be the most wide spread vector-borne disease (Ahmad et al., 2011). Available statistics have documented that malaria is highly endemic in Nigeria with over 90% of the populace at risk of infection. It is the prime cause of 60% outpatient consultation for all age groups and at least half of the Nigerian populace are exposed to at least one bout of malaria attack every year (Idowu J., 2012).

An integrative approach has been recommended to mitigate the spread of malaria parasites. One of such strategy or approach is the Integrated Vector Management (IVM) through a combination of biological and chemical methods. It is aimed at improving ecological soundness and sustainability for the control of vector borne diseases, improve efficacy and cost effectiveness (Zacchaeus and Amadi, 2012). From a triad perspective which includes the agent, host and environment, researchers and scholars have encouraged the source reduction, elimination and eradication of mosquitoes breeding sites by concentrating on the environment. These tend to be essential because, the proliferation of mosquitoes continually perpetuate the transmission of malaria. So, it can be postulated that if the sources of mosquitoes breeding sites is eradicated or eliminated, malaria would be drastically reduced. This implies that good environmental sanitation practices could help mitigate malaria transmission, promote healthiness and improve quality of life of the populace.

In its modern concept, environment includes not only water, air and soil but also the social and economic conditions under which we live (Park, 2011). The key to man‟s health lies largely in his environment. In fact, much of man‟s ill-health can be traced to adverse environmental factors such as water, soil and air pollution, poor housing conditions, presence of animal reservoir and insect vectors of diseases which pose threats to man‟s health. Often, man is responsible for the pollution of his environment through urbanization, industrialization and other human activities.

According to the National Sanitation Foundation of USA, the word sanitation is defined as a „„way of life that is expressed in the clean home, farm, business, neighborhoods and community (Park, 2011). Also, World Health Organization (WHO) defines sanitation as the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and faeces (UNICEF AND WHO, 2012).

Environmental hazards are responsible for about a quarter of the total burden of disease worldwide and as much as 30% in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa. As many as 13 million deaths can be prevented every year by making our environments healthier. These facts and figures highlight the impact of environmental factors on public health. More than 2.4 billion people in the world currently lack access to adequate sanitation and are forced to dispose of their excreta in unimproved and unsanitary conditions. Those who suffer from this, lack most basic human needs and also tend to be victims of poverty, ill health and an overall poor quality of life (WHO, 2013).

In developing countries like Nigeria, the main diseases of the environment are diarrhoeal disease, lower respiratory infections, unintentional injuries, and malaria. In children under the age of five, one third of all disease is caused by the environmental factors such as unsafe water and air pollution (WHO, 2010). The poor state of food sanitation in the country has been shown to play a significant role in the etiology of food borne diseases. One of the most significant diseases that arise from poor sanitation is diarrhea. Deaths resulting from diarrhea are estimated to be between 1.6 and 2.5 million every year (WHO, 2012). National records show that every year, about six hundred thousand (600,000) episodes of diarrhoea occur in children under the age of five (Alabi, 2010).

Similarly, there have been increasing numbers of cases of cholera over the years. From January to December 2010, Nigeria reported 41,787 cases including 1,716 deaths from 222 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in 18 States of the country. The most affected states were Borno, Bauchi and Katsina. In addition to the disease burden, Nigeria loses about N455 billion annually which is equivalent to 1.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), due to poor sanitation as reported by water and sanitation program of the World Bank (Vanguard 2013). Most of the affected are young children below the ages of five. Other diseases that are caused by poor sanitation include schistosomiasis, trachoma, soil transmitted helminthiases, and malaria (WHO, 2013).

One of the essential public health care elements is provision of safe drinking water and sanitation. However, deposition of faecal matter near homes, contamination of sources of drinking water (sometimes caused by poorly designed or maintained sewage system), dumping of refuse and sweeping into the gutters, defecating and disposing of faeces by the street corners and waterways and selling of food stuffs and cooked food by the road side are all unwholesome practices that pose potential risk to the development of diseases. Water quantity is as important as water quality. Washing of hands after defecation and before preparing food is of particular importance in reducing disease transmission, as has been demonstrated by Nigeria‟s recent control over Ebola Viral Disease. Poor housing also contributes to poor environment health and its consequent input in the health of the urban dwellers. Measures for the prevention of cholera mostly consist of providing clean water and proper sanitation to populations who do not yet have access to basic services. Health education and good food hygiene are equally important.

The environmental sanitation-related diseases exacer-bate poverty by diminishing productivity and household income. In addition, the national cost of lost productivity, reduced educational potential and huge curative health costs constitute a major drain on the local and national economy. Besides, a dirty environment with its attendant health consequences, prevailing in most of our cities, can discourage tourists/investors and undermine the economic benefit of tourism to the country. Consequently, wide-ranging actions are required to solve Environmental Sanitation problems in order to reduce and avert their adverse health, economic and developmental effects.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Inadequate sanitation is a major cause of disease world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on health both in households and across communities. The word ‘sanitation’ also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions through services such as garbage collection and waste-water disposal. In addition, environmental sanitation according to World Health Organization is the control of all those factors in man‟s physical environment which exercise or may exercise a deleterious effect on his physical development, health and survival.

It could also be seen as the principle and practice of effecting healthful and hygienic conditions in the environment to promote public health and welfare, improve quality of life and ensure a sustainable environment (Alabi, 2010). The essential components of environmental sanitation include: solid waste management; medical waste management; excreta and sewage management; food sanitation; sanitary inspection of premises; market and abattoir sanitation; adequate potable water supply; school sanitation; pest and vector control; management of urban drainage; control of reared and stray animals; disposal of the dead animals; weed and vegetation control; hygiene education and promotion.

In most developing countries adequate environmental sanitation has not been strictly adhered to. For example in some parts of Nigeria, living with waste as part of the natural environment has become a way of life. Although there has been a remarkable improvement from what it used to be in the late eighties/early nineties, there is still much to be done as Lagos, our “Nigerian Centre of Excellence”, has been depicted a vast slum (Alabi, 2010). In the United States, slum is often used to refer to marginalized neighborhoods, but in developing countries, it usually means a settlement built in or near a city by residents themselves, without official authorization or regulation. Such housing units are typically substandard, and the infrastructure and services range from non-existent to improvised. Therefore, the study focuses on the assessment of the effectiveness if environmental sanitation in the control of Malaria in Abeokuta metropolis.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The general objective is to carry out an assessment of the effectiveness of environmental sanitation in the control of malaria, using Abeokuta metropolis as a case study. The specific objectives are:

  1. To ascertain if inhabitants of Abeokuta metropolis know the implications of indiscriminate waste disposal in their environment.
  2. To find out the level of efficiency in the control and management of waste in Abeokuta metropolis.
  3. To know the rate of malaria infection among inhabitants of Abeokuta metropolis.
  4. To investigate if inhabitants of Abeokuta metropolis adopt an effective environmental sanitation.
  5. To examine the effect of environmental sanitation on the spread of malaria among inhabitants of Abeokuta metropolis.

1.4 Research Questions

The relevant research questions related to this study are:

  1. Do inhabitants of Abeokuta metropolis know the implications of indiscriminate waste disposal in their environment?
  2. What is the level of efficiency in the control and management of waste in Abeokuta metropolis?
  3. What is the rate of malaria infection among inhabitants of Abeokuta metropolis?
  4. Do inhabitants of Abeokuta metropolis adopt an effective environmental sanitation?
  5. What is the effect of environmental sanitation on the spread of malaria among inhabitants of Abeokuta metropolis?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Considering the significant of the environment on the control and prevention of malaria, this study was aimed at assessing environmental sanitation practices on malaria prevention and control bin Abeokuta metropolis. The findings in this study are also important to the government because it elucidates the need for government to provide an effective waste management and control scheme.

This study will enhance the existing body of literature by contemplating the areas of the literature that have not yet been examined or considered and incorporating these factors into the current study. The study will thus form the basis for further studies in the field.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this study is limited to the assessment of the effectiveness of environmental sanitation in the control of malaria. Due to financial and time

Chapter Five

Conclusions And Recommendations

5.1 Conclusions

This study involved an analysis of effectiveness of environmental sanitation in the control of malaria in Abeokuta metropolis. This chapter outlines a summary of the main findings and policy recommendations. In order to address the three main objectives outlined in chapter one, a multi-stage cluster sampling was used to randomly select 120 householders from Abeokuta. About 59.2% of respondents were females whiles 40.8 % were males. A conceptual framework developed by the researcher was used to guide the analysis of factors that led to poor sanitary condition and the link between poor sanitary condition and malaria.

Concerning the first objective of establishing the factors perceived by householders as being responsible for the improper disposal of wastes, the results indicated that householders perceived attitude problem due to lack of care in proper disposal of wastes, high fees charged at the public dump sites and by private waste collection service providers and weak enforcement of sanitation byelaws by government authorities as the major factors. Poor sanitary condition often led to incidence of malaria and other sanitation-related diseases as the surrounding served as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The second objective of the study was to ascertain the various methods of waste disposal and human excreta by householders. Householders used various means to dispose of their solid wastes. About 30.8% of respondents burned and/or dumped their solid wastes in the public dump and containers; 18.5% burned and/or threw their wastes into the bush while 17.5% of respondents disposed their solid wastes into public dump and containers without burning them. About 10.8% of respondents only burned their wastes and 10% of respondents hired private waste collection firms to collect and dispose of their household solid wastes.

The third objective of the study was to determine the factors that influenced the household’s choice of the method of collection and disposal of solid wastes. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify variables which influence the householder’s choice of solid waste disposal method. The significant factors that influenced solid waste disposal method were total household income and the number of people in a household. The probability of using an improved method of disposing solid wastes increased with increasing household income but it decreased with increasing number of household members.

The fourth objective was to determine the perceptions of households with regards to the link between the quality of sanitary condition and malaria. About 98.3% of respondents indicated that the existing environmental sanitary condition had adversely affected their health over the previous two years. Further, 81.3% of respondents reported that one or more of household members had suffered malaria over the previous two years. The main cause of malaria as perceived by respondents was the poor environmental sanitation quality exemplified by the improper disposal of wastes which served as a breeding ground for mosquitoes which then transmitted malaria to humans. This factor was indicated by about 95% of the respondents.

5.2 Recommendations

The study established a clear linkage between the poor quality of environmental sanitation and the incidence of malaria at Abeokuta based on the perceptions of residents in the area. The poor environmental sanitation quality of the area was largely attributed to improper disposal of wastes. The four most important causes of improper disposal of wastes at Abeokuta were bad attitude towards disposal of waste, high fee charged for disposal of waste, weak enforcement of laws and inadequate sanitation facilities. As asserted by Agbola (1993) attitudes are learned by people and can therefore be changed or modified. People with bad attitudes towards wastes disposal can be changed for the betterment of society and a clean environment. This can be done through education. Hence the Waste Management Department and PHNSDC must embark on an educational campaign to educate residents on risks associated with improper disposal of wastes including the increased incidence of malaria and its attendant societal cost burden. Also, in order to reduce incidence of malaria among households, and religious leaders of various faiths must educate and persuade their followers on the proper disposal of wastes.

High fees charged by both public dump managers and private waste collection firms were cited as an important cause of the use of unimproved methods of waste disposal by respondents. Further the logistic regression analysis clearly indicated that households with high number of people are less likely to use improved methods of waste collection and disposal. This result illustrated the market failure problem of poor people and those with low incomes who are unable to pay for proper disposal of wastes and resort to use of unimproved methods such as dumping into open spaces which contributes to increased incidence of malaria.

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