Health and hygiene education

Improving hygiene and sanitation behaviour

People living in poverty stricken areas suffer poor environmental health due to unsafe drinking water. They also have poor hygiene behaviour and lack of sanitation due to rapid and haphazard urbanisation leading to crowded and unhygienic settlements. Countries suffer massive financial losses through health expenses on diseases that could be prevented very easily.

The vulnerable population, especially women and children, are being targeted by Practical Action to improve their health and wellbeing. Specifically, the focus is on improving access to safe drinking water and guaranteeing access to better sanitation facilities. Additionally, the dissemination of better hand washing practices and other hygiene behaviours leads to a reduction in water-borne diseases and ultimately a reduction in health costs.

A lack of clean water and sanitation can mean that diseases spread causing illnesses and diarrhoea, which in turn leads to children’s absenteeism from schools.

Poor health affects the children’s ability to learn and without education how are these children ever expected to break out of poverty?

The provision of safe water and sanitation facilities in schools is imperative as it will create a healthy and safe physical learning environment, benefiting both the education and health of school children. We also to look at the use of latrines and the related appropriate hygiene behaviour of school children.

Educating school Children on basic hygiene and sanitation is very important because; most children are eager to learn and can therefore instil and promote positive behavioural change in other children; children have important roles in household chores related to hygiene, and can therefore instil change within their families and communities. These children are also future parents who will pass on the good hygiene practices that they learn in school to their children

Investing in children school sanitation and hygiene education has many benefits for example:

  • Promotes effective learning.
  • Increases enrolment of girls.
  • Reduces incidences of disease and worm infections.
  • Promotes environmental cleanliness.
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