BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Basic hygiene refers to practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases. It involves regular washing of body, washing the hands when necessary, cutting of nails, washing ones clothing, keeping the hair neat and brushing of teeth. School children are particularly vulnerable to neglect of basic personal hygiene (Enahoro and Orokj, 2006). The consequences in terms of morbidity and mortality are also more severe in them compared to adults. The increased burden of communicable diseases among school children due to poor personal hygiene practices and inadequate sanitary conditions remains concern on the public health agenda in developing countries. Poor knowledge, practice and attitudes towards personal hygiene play major roles in the high incidence of communicable diseases and therefore has negative consequences for the child’s long term overall development.
The hands are probably the most important route for transmission of infection in the home and community, as they often have indirect contact with the mouth, nose and conjunction (Urwhttp://www.ifh-hollehygiene.org). They also came in contact with food and water that is consumed. It has been revealed that there is a strong and consistent caused link between poor hand hygiene and gastrointestinal infection (WHO, 2002) certain respiratory infections have also been linked to poor personal hygiene practices. Good hand washing and other hygienic practices encouraged through health education has been reported to communicable diseases in school, children (Long-Shan, 2000). Understanding the level of knowledge and practices related to basic personal hygiene among school children in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Globally, the high mortality and morbidity due to communicable diseases among school age children has been attributed to their neglect of poor personal hygiene. Children need to be taught and guided by adults to be able to adopt certain behaviours as regards their health and well-being. To effectively address the issue of communicable disease among school children, parents, teachers, and other stake holders must work out modalities to take and encourage children to adopt good hygiene practice.
However, it has been observed that little or nothing is been done to inculcate these practices among school children hence increase in the rate of contact/spread of these communicable diseases and worse mortality from these diseases. Therefore if adequate measures are put in place, communicable disease can be reduced to its barest minimum among school children.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to ascertain the knowledge and practice of basic personal hygiene among school children in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State and to examine the relationship between poor hygiene practice and communicable diseases.
1. Do the pupils have knowledge of environmental hygiene?
2. Are there proper hygienic practices among pupils?
3. Are there measures put in place to help children maintain good hygiene practice?
4. Does poor environmental hygiene affect pupils learning?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is expected that this work will prompt the school authorities and the various parents-teachers association to collaborate to identify key areas of health needs among school children and institute appropriate health interventions. It is also expected to improve the knowledge base of classroom teachers on basic hygiene practices and the need for them to ensure adequate practice by the children.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research is expected to cover selected primary school in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
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