Integrating Hygiene in School Health and Nutrition


Uganda: Engaging the Community to Monitor Hygiene in Schools

(image: sketch of proper hygiene practices from CIE flipchart used in training)

Community Involvement in Education (CIE) was part of the UPHOLD project's integrated Education Strategy. CIE encouraged parents/communities to actively participate in their children’s learning in schools by visiting schools to monitor hygiene and teaching/learning in the classroom, discuss pupils’ performance with teachers and provide support to their children’s quality learning. Trainings were held with parents, school staff, and community leaders to promote proper hygiene practices at school, as well as school safety, girls' education, nutrition, and retention.

Bangladesh: WASH research through a School Health and Nutrition Program

 

In 2006, The Manoff Group provided technical assistance to Save the Children’s school health and nutrition program on formative research, behavior-change strategy formulation, and communication materials on hygiene and sanitation. Formative research found that both girls and boys trust their friends most of all, as well as older siblings. In addition, parents look to their children to add status to the family by becoming educated and to assist with tasks such as writing letters. These factors potentially make each child a valuable role model for friends and younger siblings, and a source of information and education for their families. 

Another theme was the importance of gender in determining behavioral recommendations and program activities. Formative research found that mothers and fathers play distinct roles in the family and the community, and have different perspectives on hygiene and sanitation – and no communication about these topics with each other. Fathers were more knowledgeable about hygiene and sanitation issues and wanted mothers and grandmothers to be informed by the program. At the same time, fathers were the ones not using latrines and mothers requested that the program make them do so since they teach and sanction boys to avoid latrines, too. In terms of roles, mothers clean and maintain latrines but fathers construct or repair.  Mothers do the food preparation, washing and child care, but rely on fathers to buy soap and other supplies for the family. 

 

Malawi: Improving Hygiene Practices in School

Working with Save the Children’s School Health and Nutrition program in Mangochi District, Malawi, Manoff Group staff oversaw interviews and behavioral trials on environmental health, HIV/AIDS, and other topics.

Among the notable findings on environmental health:

  • Although the schools had latrines, many students still preferred to defecate in the “bush,” principally because there were wiping materials (leaves) there. In TIPs, students successfully gathered miscellaneous paper from the school and community grounds, storing it in a large container in each latrine. Latrine use subsequently increased.
  • Trials on use of tippy taps showed that they were well accepted in students’ homes, but in schools the large number of users (around 1,000 students per primary school) made them an impractical technology for hand washing/water conservation.

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