1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the view of the World Health Organisation (WHO) (2007), sanitation generally refers to the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and faeces; and inadequate provision of these facilities is a major cause of diseases worldwide. It has been realised that improving sanitation is known to have a significant impact on health both in households and across communities (WHO 2007). The word sanitation also refers to the maintenance of hygiene conditions, through services such as garbage collection and waste water disposal. UNICEF and IRC (1988) as well as Coppens (2005) consider School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) as the combination of hardware and software components that are necessary to produce a healthy school environment to develop or support safe hygiene behaviour. They are 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 conditions at schools and practices of school staff and student that help to prevent water and sanitation related diseases and parasites. Snel (2004) and Water Aid Uganda (2013) indicate that health influences learning and education influences health. This is because poor sanitation causes diarrhoea, which kills 1.5 million students each year. However, smart investments in sanitation can reduce disease, increase family incomes, keep girls and boys in school, help preserve the environment, and enhance human dignity. Increasing evidence also shows that school sanitation and hygiene education programmes offer high cost benefit (Danida, 2007). Unfortunately, the promises of school health and hygiene education programmes have not always been fulfilled by either the government or stakeholders in education especially in the rural communities. Many school environments in most rural communities are not safe for student due to neglect of the operation and maintenance of health facilities. It is believed that there has been a lack of hygiene education for the students. These schools often suffer from nonexistent or insufficient water supply, sanitation and hand washing facilities, dirty and unsafe water supply; toilets or latrines that are not adapted to the needs of student particularly girls; non existence and hygiene education, unhealthy and dirty classrooms and school compounds among others. WHO, (2007) estimates that 88% of diarrhoeal disease is caused by unsafe water supply and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. Many schools serve communities that have a high prevalence of diseases related to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and where child malnutrition and other underlying health problems are common. Under these conditions, schools become unsafe places where diseases are transmitted (WHO, 2013). Thus, student’s ability to learn may be affected by inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene conditions (Cairncross & Valdmanis, 2006). This can contribute to poor health which can affect student’s ability to learn and may therefore influence their educational achievements and prospects in life (Clarke & King, 2004; Faheem & Yasir, 2007; ICF Macro 2010). A study by Nokes, & Bundy, (2010) for example, shows that student with worm infestations have lower marks in school than non-infected student. Basically this means that student with heavy worm infestations begin at a disadvantage and have a slower start in the learning process; these students have only a few years of opportunity to benefit from a formal education. Issues of sanitation and hygiene are of critical concern to every nation as a whole and to schools as far as education are concerned. Visits made by researchers to some public schools revealed the lack of proper health and hygiene facilities. This situation and its inherent poor hygiene practices which are not different from what pertains in some rural schools in many developing nations, makes the school environment no longer a safe place for students (WHO,2009).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Many basic schools in deprived communities are challenged with issues of poor sanitation and hygiene because many of them are without toilet and waste disposal facilities. This is a true reflection of what pertains in the communities where people defecate openly thereby polluting the environment; thus, creating unsafe and disease –prone locale. Control of pests, waste disposal had become a problem because of poor sanitation practices. Waste disposal, refuse disposal as well as inadequate water supply are problems in our environment especially in Schools. 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. Hardly will one come across a dustbin let alone a hand washing facility in these basic schools. Few schools with toilet facilities cannot also maintain them due to their deplorable state, owing to over usage by the members of the communities.
1.3AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine sanitation practices and implication on students. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the causes of poor sanitation practices in schools.
2. To examine the level of sanitation practices in Schools
3. To examine the effect of sanitation practices on students health.
4. To examine the extent in which school management have contributed in providing facilities that will enhance sanitation practices.
5. To examine the relationship between sanitation practices and implication on students health.
6. To suggest strategies that could be employed to improve sanitation practices in schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the causes of poor sanitation practices in schools?
2. What is the level of sanitation practices in schools?
3. What are the effects of sanitation practices on student’s health?
4. To what extent have the school management contributed in providing facilities that will enhance sanitation practices?
5. What is the relationship between sanitation practices and implication on student’s health?
6. What are the strategies that could be employed to improve sanitation practices in schools?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no effect of sanitation practices on student’s health.
H1: There is a significant effect of sanitation practices on student’s health.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings of this study will enable the students, to better understand and cultivate the habit of keeping clean environment because cleanliness is next to Godliness. The findings will help the following people: The student’s needs to know about hygiene or health practices, because cleanliness in next to Godliness and also enable to have a sound health if sanitation is practiced by the students. The findings will help the government, to formulate a policies that will enable their follow students keep the environment clean and regulations on the school. Also they serve as a mediator between the management and the students. The findings will help the school management to provide adequate facilities that will enable the labourers to keep the environment clean and tidy, also provide fund for buying disinfectant and Antiseptic, and also paying the labourers.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on sanitation practices and implication on student’s health in Ikpoba-Okha L.G.A, Edo State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Sanitation: Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes as well as the treatment and proper disposal of sewage or wastewater.
Health: a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Organization: A social unit of people that is structured and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals. All organizations have a management structure that determines relationships between the different activities and the members, and subdivides and assigns roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out different tasks. Organizations are open systems--they affect and are affected by their environment.