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The Practical Application Of The Study Of Biology For The Improvement Of Hygiene And Sanitation Among Secondary School Students In Ohaji Egbema L.G.A Of Imo State




This study investigated the practical application of the improvement of hygiene and sanitation among secondary school students in Ohaji Egbema L.G.A of Imo State. Three research objectives and questions were respectively formulated to guide the study. Various literatures related to this topic were reviewed. The adopted a descriptive surveys research designs. The population of the study comprised 3521 respondents from 15 public senior secondary schools in Ohaji Egbema LGA. Simple random sampling method was used to select samples of 345 students from senior classes (SS1, SS2 and SS3). Self administered questionnaires were used to generate data from the students selected. Results from the findings of this study revealed that type, adequacy and maintenance of sanitation facilities makes significant contribution to hand washing and proper use of sanitation facilities by students although adequacy of sanitation facilities had the greatest contribution. The study recommends amongst others that the school management should try and improve on maintenance, type and adequacy of sanitation facilities in their schools but give more emphasis to the adequacy of the sanitation facilities



In this chapter, the researcher deals with the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study and scope of the study.

Background to the Study

Hygiene is very important to healthy living and survival of humanity. Hygiene is the practice of keeping oneself and one’s surroundings clean so as to prevent illness or the spread of preventable diseases (Adeolu, 2015). It is often referred to as the behaviors and measures which are adopted so as to break the chain of transmission of infections both at home and prevalence of poor hygiene behaviors it the major cause of death amongst students in developing countries. A contaminated environment and poor hygiene practices among students in these countries (UNICEF and WHO, 2009).

Improved hand washing practices and a ensuring that all liquid and solid wastes are properly managed will help in helping ensuring a proper hygiene practices and also save an estimated 1.9 billion school days that are lost to diarrhea illness and other water and sanitation related diseases (Hilton, Guy and Lawrence, 2019). It is important to know that apart from the family, schools are important and stimulating, learning environments for children and have the potentials to significantly alter the behavior patterns of students leading to improved practices (UNICEF, 2019). According to water supply and sanitation, collaborative council (2010), these hygiene behaviors include proper band washing, regular washing and bathing and laundering, safe disposal of waste and proper use of toilets which will help in enhancing effective learning attracting diseases.

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During the World Summit on sustainable development in 2002, the UNICEF executive director emphasized that every school should be equipped with separate sanitation facilities for boys and girls. They should have a source of safe water. However, UNICEF estimates that half of the schools in the world today still lacks water and sanitation and experience unhygienic conditions that vary from inappropriate and inadequate sanitary facilities such as unavailability of water to the outright, lack of toilets.

Based on this, one can conclude that more than three hundred million children go to schools which lack safe water or clean toilets. This situation makes the students practice poor hygiene and yet very few studies have been done concerning factors influencing implementation of these poor hygiene practices. This problem has partly been aggravated by the implementation of the free Primary Education Scheme on (EPS) which has witnessed a drastic increase in the number of secondary school students.

A study conducted in Zimbabwe by the small projects foundation (SPF) for example showed that 400 girls out of 700 students were subjected to use four toilets for all their ablution needs. The study further observed that the toilets (Sommer, 2009), Girls reported that absence of privacy, which was contributed by doors that could not lock, caused them embarrassment and fear while accessing such toilets (Freeman, 2012). Sanitation has been one of the major health concerns around the world especially in developing nations. It refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking of water and adequate treatment and disposal of human excreta and sewage. Preventing human contact with faeces is part of sanitation as in hand washing with soap (Mooijman, 2014).

The World Health Organization (WHO, 2017) revealed that lack of access to sanitation has an impact not only with about 4.5 billion people currently suffering from poor sanitation, hence, the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (2017) also revealed that up to 5 million people die each year from preventable water borne diseases including children as a result of inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices. Msengi and Doe (2014) reported that these seems to be serious problems with water supply disposal as well as inadequate water supply especially in secondary schools as little is done to educate this schools students regarding environmental health issues. Some factors responsible for this includes neglect of operation and maintenance of health facilities, lack of hygiene education for the students, non existence or insufficient water supply, toilets or latrines that are not adapted to the needs of students as well as unhealthy and dirty classrooms/school compounds (Joro, 2014). These factors have led to consequences on student’s health and diseases related to poor sanitation and water availability causing many sicknesses like cholera, diarrhea, malaria and typhoid. All these diseases greatly affect the health of students. However, one major way that will help curb sanitation problems among school students is to improve on the knowledge helps to enhance the awareness and understanding that sanitation aim to protect human health by providing a clean environment that will stop the transmission of diseases especially through the fascial oral route (WHO, 2017), UNICEF (2019). ‘

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Based on this, it is certain that if students have good knowledge of sanitation and the disease associated with poor practices, it will help them to practice proper environmental sanitation in their various schools and home (Sanni, 2015).

Statement of the Problem

Several studies have shown that poor hygiene and sanitation contributes to cross transmission of microorganisms, gums infection, increased rate of infectious illness, incidence of food borne outbreaks and reproductive tract infections. These have been attributed to inadequate knowledge of hygiene and its practices.

Hygiene and sanitation deficiency diseases have been found to continue to be a serious public health problem in developing countries like Nigeria and people often get affected are school children. Moreover, to the best knowledge, limited studies focused on young students have been found in the literature and there is no formal study conducted concerning hygiene knowledge of secondary school students in Ohaji Egbema. Therefore, this study is aimed at assessing the practical application of the study of biology for the improvement of hygiene and sanitation among secondary school students in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.

Scope of the Study

This study is delimited to public secondary schools in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area. This study will focus on sanitation facility and influence on the improvement of hygiene practices in public secondary schools students.

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Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to assess the practical application of the study of biology for the improvement of hygiene and sanitation among secondary school students in Ohaji Egbema L.G.A of Imo State. Specifically, the study sought to determine;

  1. The extent The type of sanitation facility influences improvement of hygiene practices in public secondary school students in Ohaji Egbema LGA
  2. The relationship between maintenance of sanitation facilities and improvement of hygiene practices in public secondary schools in Ohaji Egbema LGA
  3. The number of sanitation facilities influence improvement of hygiene practice in public secondary schools in Ohaji Egbema L.G.A

Significance of the Study

There is need to assess the practical application of the improvement of hygiene and sanitation of this target group because they are more likely to engage in practices that may be inimical to their health than other groups and thus makes them susceptible to hygiene deficiency and illnesses.

Furthermore, assessing sanitation facilities becomes essential for developing an effective hygiene and sanitation education programmes.

In addition, the findings from this study can also provide basic and useful information for policy formulation and strategic interventions on poor hygiene and sanitation among school students. The outcome of this study will serve as a guide for further research in this area.

Research Questions

  1. What is the type of sanitation facilities used by students in public secondary school students in Ohaji Egbema LGA?
  2. How adequate are the sanitation facilities used by students in public secondary schools in Ohaji Egbema LGA?
  3. What are the number of sanitation facilities influence improvement of hygiene practice in public secondary schools in Ohaji Egbema L.G.A

    Pages:  58

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF         

    Chapters: 1-5                                                      

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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