Impact of sanitation improved school latrine on latrine-related practices, perceptions attitude and occurrence of diarrhoea in children in Mwea Division, Kirinyaga District, Central Kenya
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Background: School latrines in Mwea irrigation regions are unsanitary and unhygienic. School children who are the end point users of the latrines are exposed to the unhygienic conditions of the latrines and are likely to contract sanitation related diseases. School children have their outlook on the sanitation of the school latrines and they can play an important role towards programmes for improvement of sanitation in the school latrines. Objective: To determine children's perception attitude and practices about the school latrines in relation to their health experiences. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was conducted from 215 Grade Three children in three primary schools in Mwea Division of Central Kenya. Questions about washing hands after latrine use, cleaning of latrines, avoiding use of latrines and perceptions about dirty latrines in relation to occurrence of diarrhea were asked. Occurrence of diarrhoea was based on child's recall of the experience during the one week preceding the day of the test. Results: Diarrhoea was experienced by 23% of children occuring more often in boys (29%) than in girls (17%). Children who perceived school latrine to be dirty developed diarrhoea (29%) more often than those who did not (18%). Diarrhoea occurrence was reported more frequently by children whose response was negative for washing hands after latrine use (28%) than those who did (15%). Children who felt that cleaning school latrines was a punishment developed diarrhoea (41%) more often than those who did not (18%). On the other hand, there was no Significance difference in occurrence of diarrhoea in association with avoidance of usage of school latrines, cleaning of school latrines, and willingness to clean the school latrines. Conclusion: The school children have given a low rating of the sanitatary condition of the school latrines.They are the end point users of school latrines and their outlok on the condition of the latrine in relation to their health is important for implementation of disease intervention measures.