Assessing Hand Hygiene Practices in Schools Benefiting from the Ghana School Feeding Programme
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2014, Pages: 7-14
Received: Nov. 21, 2013;
Published: Dec. 20, 2013
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Isaac Monney, Department of Environmental Health and Sanitation Education, University of Education, Winneba, Mampong Ashanti, Ghana
Oparebea Sussana Martinson, Department of Environmental Health and Sanitation Education, University of Education, Winneba, Mampong Ashanti, Ghana
Abugbilla Matthew Asampana, Department of Environmental Health and Sanitation Education, University of Education, Winneba, Mampong Ashanti, Ghana
Marfo Albert, Department of Science Education, University of Education, Winneba, P.O. Box M40, Mampong Ashanti, Ghana
School Feeding Programmes have been shown to impact positively on nutritional status and cognition of school children as well as hunger and poverty alleviation. There is however, dearth of information regarding hand hygiene in schools benefiting from these programmes. This study assesses hand hygiene practices, barriers and compliance to proper hand hygiene in schools benefiting from the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through the administration of structured questionnaires and extensive field observation respectively. Fifty three (53) GSFP beneficiary schools were selected from four different locations in Ghana; Winneba (6), Mpraeso (10), Mampong-Ashanti (17) and Bolgatanga (20). Findings from the study indicate availability of hand washing facilities (HWFs) in most schools (79%; n = 53); high pupil-to-HWF ratio resulting in poor hand washing practices (Range: 15-372; average: 105); availability of soap for handwashing (83%; n = 42) but extensive use of shared containers (53%; n = 42); delays in acquisition of HWFs, fragmented private sector efforts in hand hygiene promotion and non-compliance with conventional hand washing practices. The study observes that the incorporation of schools into the GSFP without concurrently instituting a comprehensive hand washing programme is rather a retrogressive step considering the possible health repercussions on pupils. To avert this, it is proposed that hand washing with soap should be a mandatory practice in schools benefiting from the GSFP. This requires institution of a sustainable, impact-driven school hand hygiene programme involving both public and private sector agencies to be instituted along with the GSFP.
Oparebea Sussana Martinson,
Abugbilla Matthew Asampana,
Assessing Hand Hygiene Practices in Schools Benefiting from the Ghana School Feeding Programme, Science Journal of Public Health.
Vol. 2, No. 1,
2014, pp. 7-14.
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