Paper Title: Assessment of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Education and Practice in Primary Schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria
Authors: Okeafor I.N, Ayerite A.L, Birabe H.L, Chukwuma C.B, Eterigho-Ikelegbe O, Mezie-Okoye M.M
Adequate water, sanitary facilities and hygiene practices are essential for an enabling learning environment and prevention of water-borne and sanitation-related diseases. This study assessed the availability of water, sanitary and hygiene education and practice in primary schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area (LGA) in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria. A cross sectional study was carried out using a self-administered and structured questionnaire and an observational checklist to obtain information related to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities available in the schools. A total of 25 primary schools, 25 teachers and 466 pupils were enrolled in the study. The source of water available in most of the schools was borehole (88%) while there was no source of water in 8% of the schools. Water closet toilets was available in 92% of the schools while 68% of the schools had gender separated toilets. Hygiene education was incorporated in school curriculum in all the schools (100%) but only 3 (12%) of the teachers have been trained on hygiene education. The provision of hand washing facility was available in 19 (76%) of the 25 schools, of this only 8 (42.2%) had provision for drying hands. The pupils who wash hands before eating and after use of toilet were 53.2% and 42.5% respectively. Appropriate source of water and toilet facilities are available in most of the schools but the hygiene practice of the pupils is poor. Thus training of teachers on hygiene education is necessary in ensuring that the pupils imbibe optimal hygiene practice.