Student Awareness And Practice Of Personal Hygiene And Sanitation In Umuagia South LGA Of Abia State
The purpose of this study was to assess student awareness and practice of personal hygiene and sanitation in Umuagia South LGA of Abia State. The study was also guided by three (3) purposes, three research questions and three (3) hypotheses. The study employed expost-facto research design. The population of the study was 828,717 between the ages of 11 to 17 years’ students in Abia state. A sample size of 400 was randomly selected proportionately through stratified sampling techniques, simple random sampling techniques and proportionate sampling. Study recommendations were made. State Ministry of Health and other relevant organizations concerned with health care should intensify effort by creating health and Hygiene Promotion Programmes such as Talk shows and Seminars in Schools on the importance of hygiene through the formation of Health Club that would teach students on proper hygienic practices, and provide incentives for good hygiene practices. Though, the respondents have adequate knowledge of personal hygiene, there should be continuous education and sensitization through monitoring students by the School Authorities.
Table of Content
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Purpose of the Study
- 1.4 Objectives of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Hypotheses
- 1.6 Basic Assumptions
- 1.7 Significance of the Study
- 1.8 Delimitation of the Study
- 2.1 Conceptual Review
- 2.2 Theoretical Review
- 2.2 Empirical Review
- 2.4 Summary
- 3.1 Study type and Study design
- 3.2 Study population
- 3.3 Study unit
- 3.4 Sampling size and technique
- 3.5 Sampling method and technique
- 3.6 Data collection technique and tools
- 3.7 Measures
- 3.8 Data analysis
- 3.9 Ethical consideration
- 3.10 Plan for dissemination of results
Data Analysis and Result Presentation
Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Conclusion
- 5.2 Recommendation
- 5.3 Suggestions for Future Research
1.1 Background of the Study
Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases (World Health Organization, 2014). According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022) hygiene is an act that can lead to good health and cleanliness such as frequent hand-washing, regular bathing, wearing clean clothes and good practice of environmental hygiene. It is the art of keeping body clean and smelling fresh through proper body hygiene that washes off visible and microscopic dirt and bacteria. Hygiene is a science that deals with the promotion and preservation of health. Park, (2017) defined hygiene as the study and practice of keeping good health especially paying attention to cleanliness with the view to preventing diseases and promoting health; thereby, prolonging life. Lutans, (2014) stated that human environmentally related diseases such as malaria typhoid, diarrhea and dysentery are constant threat to life due to unhygienic practices. Personal hygiene is the act of keeping oneself clean and well groomed. In addition to its social implications, personal hygiene plays an important role in preventing both the spreading and contracting of diseases.
Hygiene is very important for living a healthy life free from diseases. Poor hygiene knowledge, attitude and practices and inadequate sanitary conditions play major roles in the increased burden of communicable diseases within developing countries and therefore has negative consequences for child‘s long term overall development. Many diseases spreading from virus, bacteria, and protozoa microorganisms can be prevented, if good hygiene is practiced. Teaching students the importance of good hygiene will improve their health for a lifetime (Oyibo, 2012). Personal hygiene which is also referred to as personal care is a public health tool that is used for disease prevention and health promotion in individuals, families and communities. Personal hygiene includes the following: regular washing of the body (bathing), washing hands when necessary, cutting nails, washing clothing, washing hair, brushing teeth, keeping feet clean, caring for gum among others (Oyibo, 2012).
According to Postma, Getkate, and Vanwijk, (2014), school students are particularly vulnerable to neglect of basic personal hygiene. The consequences in terms of morbidity and mortality are also more severe in them compared to adults. The increased burden of communicable diseases among secondary school students due to poor knowledge, attitude and practices of personal hygiene and inadequate sanitary conditions remain a concern on the public health agenda in developing countries. The hands are probably the single most important route for transmission of infection in the home and community, as they are often in direct contact with the mouth, nose and conjunctiva of the eyes. They also come in contact with food and water that is consumed. Studies have revealed a strong and consistent causal link between poor hand hygiene and gastrointestinal infection (Ananthakrishnan, Pani, & Nalini,2015).
Amongst all the communicable diseases promoted by poor personal hygiene, helminthic infestation contributes the greatest proportion. Although these helminthes can infect all members of a population, the most vulnerable group are school students (WHO, 2022). Long-Shan, ., Bao-Jun, Jin-Xiang, Sen-Hai, & Jack,(2015) observed that good personal hygienic practices encouraged through health education has been reported to be associated with low prevalence of communicable diseases in secondary school students. Personal hygienic practices therefore plays an important role in preventing spread of respiratory infections, helminthiasis, skin infections, eye infections food borne diseases, spread of new pathogens as in epidemics. Certain respiratory infections (common cold, influenza virus infection.) have also been linked to poor personal hygienic practices (WHO, 2012).
Hygiene practices are preventive measures to reduce the occurrences of disease and are parts of good personal grooming. Hygiene does not only include personal hygiene related to food, clothing and exercise but also sciences such as engineering, bacteriology, public sanitation and waterworks (Oyibo, 2012). The researcher‘s belief, therefore, affirms the fact that prevention is better than cure. In support of the above, Park (2015), expressed that infectious and parasitic diseases associated with low standards of personal hygiene remain the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in many developing countries. Bloomfield, Exner, Fara, Scottand and Vander (2017), stressed that positive personal hygiene will prevent water disease such as diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, bilharzias and typhoid.
Bloomfield, Aiello, Cookson, O‘Boyle and Larson (2017), stressed that personal hygiene involved those practices performed by an individual to care for one‘s bodily health and wellbeing, through cleanliness. Motivations for personal hygiene practice include reduction of personal illness, healing from personal illness, optimal health and sense of wellbeing, social acceptance and prevention of spread of illness to others. What is considered proper personal hygiene can be cultural – specific and may change over time.
Bloomfield, Aiello, Cookson, O‘Boyle, &Larson, (2017) explained further, that other practices that are generally considered proper hygiene include bathing regularly, washing hands regularly especially before handling food, washing scalp hair, keeping hair short or removing hair, wearing lean clothing, brushing one‘s teeth and cutting finger nails, besides other practices.
Secondary school students are in the period of development from one stage to another, from childhood to a larger society. At this period, children are exposed to communicable diseases for being together with many children from a number of communities (Bubenik, 2013). At the stage of secondary school, the child encounters a number of infectious diseases and potential handicapping conditions which could have been easily prevented from occurring through proper personal hygiene practice. Therefore, knowledge, attitude and practice of hygiene among target populations are needed to plan and design behavioral interventions. It is against this background that this study is conducted to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene among secondary school students in Abia State, Nigeria, with a view to providing useful data for appropriate action by the relevant Authorities.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
One of the major problems faced by secondary school students in Nigeria is infections. The primary causes of infections are contaminated water and poor sanitation as well as poor hygienic practices, lack of personal hygiene coupled with poor sanitation favours person-to person transmission of infection among secondary school students in Abia State. Hygiene plays a vital role in preventing some of the common communicable disease which spread mainly through water, food, personal contact and surrounding environment (Oyibo, 2012).The importance of school health has been acknowledged across countries since the beginning of 20th century (Ananthakrishnanet al,2015).
Without encouraging secondary school children on the issue of personal hygiene, some may develop unhygienic habits such as lack of proper care of their finger nails, eating with unwashed hand and wearing dirty clothes. Other unhygienic practices that can be found among secondary school children are sharing one cup when drinking water and using one spoon when eating food by many secondary school students. These can serve as an avenue to transfer diseases from one person to another.
School teachers are considered the major source of information for their students and would appear to be suitable as health educators. School teachers are expected to be role models so that students can emulate and adopt their behaviour and attitudes. Meaningful knowledge positively influence attitude formation because of the recipient`s comprehension of health facts, it is positive attitude formation which leads to positive behaviour. On the contrary, superficial knowledge leads to misconception of facts and development of negative attitude. Negative attitudes result in practicing harmful behaviour
The knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene among secondary school students to the best of the researcher‘s knowledge is not up to the standard and has remained neglected. Therefore, secondary school students in the study area may not have enough knowledge of personal hygiene. These could make the secondary school students to develop unhygienic practices such as lack of proper care of their finger nails, eating with unwashed hand, wearing dirty clothes, sharing one cup when drinking water and sharing one spoon when eating food. It was assumed that they would not cover their nose and mouth when coughing with clean handkerchief or tissues and also irregular bathing could be found among secondary school students. Neglect of hygiene goes a long way in explaining why water and sanitation programs have often not brought the expected benefit. School health services have tended to focus on nutritional support and clinical assessment. These inputs are absolutely necessary, but so is the need to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene among secondary school students in Abia State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to investigate student awareness and practice of personal hygiene and sanitation in Umuagia South LGA of Abia State.
1.4 Objectives of the Study
- To assess the knowledge of personal hygiene among secondary school students in Abia State
- To assess the attitude of Secondary school students towards personal hygiene in Abia State.
- To assess the practice of personal hygiene among secondary school students in Abia state.
1.4 Research Questions
This study answered the following research questions;
- Do Secondary School Students have knowledge of personal hygiene in Abia State?
- What is the attitude of secondary school students towards personal hygiene in Abia State?
- Do secondary school students practice personal hygiene in Abia State?
- Knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene among secondary school students in Abia State is not significant.
- Secondary school students will not have significant Knowledge of personal hygiene in Abia State.
- Secondary school students will not have significant positive attitude towards personal hygiene in Abia State.
- Secondary school students will not have significant Practice of personal hygiene in
1.6 Basic Assumptions
On the basis of available research evidence and professional opinion, the following assumptions were made for the purpose of this study:
- Secondary school students have knowledge ofpersonal hygiene in Abia State.
- Secondary school students have positive attitude towards personal hygiene in Abia State.
- Secondary school students will practice personal hygiene to some level in Abia state.
1.7 Significance of the Study
It is expected that the findings of this study would be help to;
Add to the body of knowledge through hygienic practices of secondary school students in Abia State.
It will establish the knowledge about hygiene among secondary school students and also the findings could be used to educate secondary school students to understand further need for practicing personal hygiene in their daily living.
The knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene of secondary school students in Abia state are not well established to the best knowledge of the researcher. This study will establish the knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene among secondary school students in Abia State. This study would be used as a policy change under the National School Health Programme and relevant authorities as a tool for parents and teachers to enshrine the values of personal hygiene in school students as an appropriate health intervention.
The results of this study would contribute to the existing information on knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene among schools in Abia State. Also it would be of benefit to the future researchers to further develop research on the personal hygiene practices among Junior Secondary School Students.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
This study was delimited to knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene among secondary school students in the three Senatorial Zones in Abia State. The study was also limited to public secondary schoolchildren between SS 2 to 3 in the three Senatorial Zones in Abia State.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
On the basis of the findings of this study, the following conclusions have been draw from the knowledge, attitude and practice of personal hygiene in Abia State:
- Secondary school students in Abia State have knowledge of personal hygiene.
- The attitude of secondary school students in Abia State towards personal hygiene in not positive.
- The secondary school students do not practice personal hygiene in Abia state
In light of the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:
- State Ministry of Health/Other relevant Organizations concerned with Health Care should intensify effort by creating health and Hygiene Promotion Programmes such as Talk shows and Seminars in Schools on the importance of hygiene through the formation of Health Club that would teach students on proper hygienic practices, and provide incentives for good hygiene practices.
- Teachers and parents should encourage the secondary school students to improve on their attitudes towards personal hygiene at early stage because this will stick to them when they grow up.
- Although, the respondents have adequate knowledge of personal hygiene, there should be continuous education and sensitization by the School Authorities through proper monitoring of the students.
5.3 Suggestions for Future Research
This study was conducted in Abia State of Nigeria, it is suggested that this study should be replicated in other states of the Federation to ascertain knowledge, attitude and practice of Personal Hygiene among Secondary school Students.
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