Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program and Its Impact on Public Health in Schools in Kisumu County, Kenya
Omwami, Duncan Ondieki
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In most developing countries, there is a great challenge to provide sanitation services to the rising number of students enrolling in schools in relation to the scarce resources available. Research shows that sanitation is worse in schools than in the general population, even though schools are guided under the health policy of 2009. About 90% of sanitation issues stem from poor hygiene in schools, affecting public schools and public health. The water, Access Sanitation, and Hygiene program rolled out in Kisumu East, and after six years, the program had been inadequately addressing the sanitation challenges. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the WASH program and the teachers' contribution to enhancing the quality of latrines and examine the environmental factors that affected the quality of latrines. The study targeted 20 schools with 384 students and 40 teacher respondents. These included schools that participated in the WASH program and those that did not. The head teachers and Principals from each school were sampled purposively, while other teachers in the school were sampled randomly. Questionnaires were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data on teachers and environmental determinants affecting latrine quality. In contrast, a checklist was used to collect data on the quality of the latrines. The latrine quality was studied by looking at five significant parameters: latrine adequacy, latrine structure, latrine privacy, availability of functional hand washing facilities, and the cleanliness levels of the latrines. The research employed a descriptive research design. The data was processed and analyzed according to the variables and objectives of the study using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 21.0 software. Data summary and classification was done using descriptive statistics (mean and variance). Data was then presented using tables. According to the results presented, all the teachers and students from WASH and Non-WASH schools indicated the conditions of the latrines. From the study, 37.5 % of the teachers indicated that the latrines were clean, while 62.5% of the teachers indicated that the latrines were dirty. On the other end, 37.7 % of the students indicated that the latrines were clean, while 62.3% of the students indicated that the latrines were dirty. This was information from schools that had implemented the WASH program and those that had not implemented the WASH program. The results indicated a significant relationship between the implementation of the WASH program and cases of diarrheal diseases among the students, with a significance value of 0.001*. This study, therefore, determined the contribution of the WASH program in relation to its impact on community health and how effective the program was in addressing the health issues in Kisumu East Sub- County.