Personal And Environmental Cleanliness, A Deterrent To Communicable Diseases

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Personal And Environmental Cleanliness, A Deterrent To Communicable Diseases


Abstract


This study was carried out on the examination of personal and environmental cleanliness, a deterrent to communicable diseases using Nsukka, Enugu State as a case study. The study is was specifically carried out to determine to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka, determine whether poor sanitation practices contribute to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka, identify the ways through which communicable diseases are transmitted in Nsukka, determine whether effective personal and environmental hygiene practices mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases in Nsukka, and identify factors affecting effective personal and environmental hygiene practices in Nsukka. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of residents of Nsukka, Enugu State. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 113 respondents and 85 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. While the hypothesis were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that poor sanitation practices contribute to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka. The study also revealed that communicable diseases are transmitted in Nsukka through contact with blood, contact with bodily fluids, breathing in an airborne virus, being bitten by an infected insect, through poor personal hygiene, through animals to humans, contact with contaminated surface or area, and polluted water. Furthermore, the study revealed that the factors affecting effective personal and environmental hygiene practices in Nsukka include; difficulty in mobilizing people for sanitation, lack of the knowledge of hygiene practices, inadequate waste management facilities, lack of potable and clean water, inadequate public sensitization of hygiene, and ineffective government policies to regulate sanitary practices. Therefore, it is recommended that since majority of rural dwellers are not learned, most do not recognize the need to keep their surroundings clean, it therefore becomes important for the Government through the mass media embark on massive orientation or sensitization of those individuals. This will help to mobilize them for personal and environmental hygiene. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Terms
  • 1.9 Organizations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypothesis

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

According to Akerman (2001), personal hygiene can be defined as practices performed by an individual to care for one’s bodily health and well being through cleanliness. Many people equate hygiene with ‘cleanliness’ but hygiene is abroad term including including personal habbits choices as how frequently to bathe ,wash hands, trim fingernails and change clothing. Also includes keeping the environment clean and pathogen free. Personal hygiene is keeping our body, our teeth, our hair, our clothes and our genital area clean. It is one of the mechanisms used for breaking disease transmission cycles. It also helps the individual to have a good aesthetic value by the people he/she is living with (Beneson 1995). Moreover, it is a good figure of better living style.

Personal hygiene is therefore, a measure taken at individual level to promote personal cleanliness so that transmission of diseases from source to susceptible hosts is prevented. It can be seen the most effective in protecting the health of communities where treatment options are constraints due to lack of health care delivery systems. Many health problems are due to poor hygiene behavior. Most of which are communicable diseases. Personal hygiene when properly practised transcends into environmental hygiene (Beneson 1995).

The importance of hygiene and sanitation flourished at the times of Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilisation. The use of private and public baths and latrines, cleaning of the body, shaving the head for protection from lice infestation, and the construction of water pipelines and sewage ditches were widely observed. The transmission of schistosomiasis (bilharzia) was linked to bathing and swimming in the Nile River. In these civilisations, the focus was on personal hygiene (hygiene) and human waste management (sanitation).

Altekruse et al. (2001) defined a communicable disease as an illness that arises from transmission of an infectious agent or its toxic product from an infected person, animal or reservoir to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector, or environment. It can also be defined as an illness due to a specific infectious agent or its toxic products that arises through transmission of that agent or its products from an infected person, animal, or inanimate reservoir to a susceptible host. Transmission may be direct from person to person, or indirect through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector, or the inanimate environment.
The potential for infectious disease to disturb or destroy human life still exists today, especially in low-income countries, but can also pose serious challenges in the high-income countries. This threat may increase as infectious diseases evolve and escape current human-developed control mechanisms. The spread of the plague throughout Europe and Asia in the fourteenth century caused death and social destruction to an estimated one-third to half of the population of Europe, and is long embedded in the folk culture of the western world (Huntingdon 2002). The 1918–1919 Spanish (swine) influenza pandemic may have affected one-third of the world’s population; it was very severe and carried a case fatality rate of over 2.5 percent, particularly hitting young adults, resulting in between 50 and possibly as high as 100 million deaths, and killing more young men than died in World War I (Tautenberger, 2006).

Pandemics have caused huge repeated communicable disease devastation, such as smallpox, tuberculosis, syphilis, measles, cholera, and influenza, and have demonstrated infectious diseases’ explosive potential and epidemic character. Others of these illnesses have been controlled, and some may be eradicated as public health issues; nonetheless, new or recurring communicable diseases continue to appear. The spread of AIDS since the 1980s, ongoing cholera epidemics in Asia, Africa, and South America, diphtheria in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, measles in Western Europe in 2010–2012, and diphtheria and pertussis in many western countries in 2011–2013 all serve as reminders of why communicable disease control remains one of public health’s primary responsibilities (Huntingdon 2002).

A number of discoveries in the 19th century were important events for the understanding of communicable diseases. For example, the link between contaminated water and cholera was discovered by John Snow in 1854; the importance of hygienic handwashing before attending delivery of a baby was noted by Dr. Semmelweis in 1845; and the discovery that microorganisms (very small organisms only visible under a microscope) cause disease was made by Louis Pasteur around this time.

Studies have shown that communicable diseases can be effectively controlled through personal and environmental hygiene. Although hygiene and infection are vital factors in environmental health, it is also good to be aware of emerging issues such as global warming and the links between medical conditions such as cardio-vascular disease and our environment and lifestyles. Our environment is everything that surrounds us. It includes all the external influences and conditions that can affect our health, life and growth. These influences are constantly changing and the effects on our health may not be easily foreseen (Jacob 1998).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

A communicable disease epidemic or outbreak occurs when there are more people suffering from a particular illness than what would normally be expected. According to anecdotal data, humans have tried over time to manage infectious illnesses that have erupted throughout the years. Most international organizations like the World Health Organization, have made efforts and intervention campaigns to raise the awareness and prevention of communicable diseases. Humans especially through mobility have been known to be the largest agent of communicable disease (Rooke, 2012).

The lack of common criteria for the conversion of these vehicles, or the lack of adherence and enforcement of those that do exist, has resulted in cars with poorly built windows and inadequate seating capacity and layout. This causes inadequate ventilation and overcrowding in these vehicles, which may contribute to the spread of infectious illnesses. This problem is exacerbated by the filthy interiors of some of the automobiles (Garrett-Jones 2000).

Furthermore, where air-conditioned buses are utilized, there is a risk of communicable disease transmission because such vehicles lack a sufficient ventilation system like those found on airplanes. Furthermore, people’s lack of hygiene on public transportation (e.g., coughing or sneezing without covering the mouth and nose, and openly spitting while onboard a vehicle) has the potential to contribute to the spread of infectious illnesses in the society (Jetten, Focks 1998).

Despite all of the issues mentioned, there has been little study into strategies to limit the spread of infectious illnesses in Nigeria. Environmental hygiene and sanitation in Nigeria has been at its lowest with streets littered with refuse, open defecation and poor public sanitation. Recent outbreaks of cholera and meningitis in Ghana, as well as Ebola in other neighboring African nations, necessitate the urgent need for studies that can record existing practices and methods of dealing with the problem (Wale, 2015). As a result, this study attempted to fill a vacuum by concentrating on personal and environmental hygiene in the transmission of communicable diseases.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to examine personal and environmental cleanliness, a deterrent to communicable diseases.

Specifically, this study seeks to:

  1. Determine the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka.
  2. Determine whether poor sanitation practices contribute to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka.
  3. Identify the ways through which communicable diseases are transmitted in Nsukka.
  4. Determine whether effective personal and environmental hygiene practices mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases in Nsukka.
  5. Identify factors affecting effective personal and environmental hygiene practices in Nsukka.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will guide this study:

  1. Are communicable diseases prevalent in Nsukka?
  2. Does poor sanitation practices contribute to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka?
  3. What are the ways through which communicable diseases are transmitted in Nsukka?
  4. Does effective personal and environmental hygiene practices mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases in Nsukka?
  5. What are the factors affecting effective personal and environmental hygiene practices in Nsukka?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Ho: Personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness does not mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases.

Ha: Personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness does mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases.


1.6 Significance of the Study

Through its efforts, the findings of this research has the potential to assist relevant bodies in developing and improving best practices in infection prevention and control. The study also aimed to uncover additional subtle methods, which may not be evident, through which infectious illnesses might be acquired in the public. This would alert the general public, allowing them to take preventative steps. The findings might also help policymakers establish new regulations and reassess old ones for limiting disease transmission in public spaces, and increase the awareness on environmental sanitation. Finally, this study will contribute to the growing body of knowledge about personal and environmental hygiene in the transmission of communicable diseases.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will be focused on determining the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka, determining whether poor sanitation practices contribute to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka, identifying the ways through which communicable diseases are transmitted in Nsukka, determining whether effective personal and environmental hygiene practices mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases in Nsukka and identifying factors affecting effective personal and environmental hygiene practices in Nsukka.

Selected residents of Nsukka in Enugu State will serve as participants for the survey of this study.


1.8 Limitations of the Problem

As with any human endeavor, the researcher experienced small impediments while performing the study. Due to the scarcity of literature on the subject as a result of the discourse’s nature, the researcher incurred additional financial expenses and spent additional time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as during the data collection process, which is why the researcher chose a small sample size. Additionally, the researcher conducted this inquiry in conjunction with other scholarly pursuits. Additionally, because only a small number of respondents were chosen to complete the research instrument, the results cannot be applied to other secondary schools outside the state. Regardless of the limits faced throughout the investigation, all aspects were reduced to ensure the best outcomes and the most productive research.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Hygiene:

Hygiene is a series of practices performed to preserve health. According to the World Health Organization, “Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.” Personal hygiene refers to maintaining the body’s cleanliness.

Transmission:

The action or process of transmitting something, or the state of being transmitted.

Communicable Diseases:

Communicable diseases, also known as infectious diseases or transmissible diseases, are illnesses that result from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic (capable of causing disease) biologic agents in an individual human or other animal host.


1.10 Organisations of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms.

The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, empirical review, and chapter summary. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the personal and environmental cleanliness, a deterrent to communicable diseases using Nsukka, Enugu State as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary

In this study, our focus was on personal and environmental cleanliness, a deterrent to communicable diseases using Nsukka, Enugu State as a case study. The study is was specifically carried out to determine to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka, determine whether poor sanitation practices contribute to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka, identify the ways through which communicable diseases are transmitted in Nsukka, determine whether effective personal and environmental hygiene practices mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases in Nsukka, and identify factors affecting effective personal and environmental hygiene practices in Nsukka.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 85 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were residents in Nsukka, Enugu State.


5.3 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. Communicable diseases are prevalent in Nsukka.
  2. Poor sanitation practices contribute to the prevalence of communicable diseases in Nsukka.
  3. Communicable diseases are transmitted in Nsukka through contact with blood, contact with bodily fluids, breathing in an airborne virus, being bitten by an infected insect, through poor personal hygiene, through animals to humans, contact with contaminated surface or area, and polluted water.
  4. Effective personal and environmental hygiene practices mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases in Nsukka.
  5. The factors affecting effective personal and environmental hygiene practices in Nsukka include; difficulty in mobilizing people for sanitation, lack of the knowledge of hygiene practices, inadequate waste management facilities, lack of potable and clean water, inadequate public sensitization of hygiene, and ineffective government policies to regulate sanitary practices.

5.4 Recommendation

With respect to the findings and the aim of this study, the researchers therefore recommend that;

  1. Since majority of rural dwellers are not learned, most do not recognize the need to keep their surroundings clean, it therefore becomes important for the Government through the mass media embark on massive orientation or sensitization of those individuals. This will help to mobilize them for personal and environmental hygiene.
  2. There should strict and effective implementation of government policies so as to regulate sanitary practices.
  3. The Government should make adequate provision for facilitates which aids effective environmental hygiene.

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Frequently Asked Questions


How can we control communicable diseases?

Great strides have been made in the control of communicable diseases through public health successes in environmental sanitation, safe foods, vaccination, and antibiotics in the USA (Figure 4.1), as in other industrialized countries. However, the field of infectious disease continues to be dynamic and challenging.

How can public health prevent infectious diseases?

Public health applies a wide variety of tools for the prevention of infectious diseases and their transmission, including activities ranging from filtration and disinfection of community drinking water to environmental vector control, pasteurization of milk, and immunization programs (Table 4.3).

Are there inequities in control of communicable diseases?

Inequalities in Control of Communicable Diseases As in other fields of public health, there are wide variations or inequities between and within countries pertaining to the control of communicable diseases. The differences between the industrialized countries and the developing countries are enormous.

Why is it important to control and eradicate infectious diseases?

Control and eradication of infectious diseases is of national and international concern, particularly with diseases that may be used in bioterrorism or spread quickly on a worldwide basis, requiring strengthened biosafety, biosecurity, and readiness for outbreaks of dangerous and emerging pathogens. 

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