Knowledge of Diarrhoeal Diseases and Hygiene Practices of In-School Adolescents

Author(s): Titilayo Lekan-Agunbiade, Ayodele Onayade, Olalekan Agunbiade

Diarrhoeal diseases are among the most frequent childhood illnesses and the leading cause of preventable death in developing countries.

This descriptive cross-sectional study aimed to determine the level of knowledge of causes, symptoms, and management of diarrhoeal diseases, assess personal hygiene practices, determine the association between knowledge of diarrhoeal diseases and hygiene practices as well as ascertain determinants of positive hygiene practices among in-school adolescents in selected middle schools between the ages of 10-15 years in Ife Central Local Government, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

Methods: Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires and observational checklists and were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 20.

Results: The study revealed that the level of knowledge of causes, symptoms, management of diarrhoea, and personal hygiene among the respondents were high (94.7%, 66.7%, 51.3%, and 96.9% respectively) and an association existed between knowledge of diarrhoea causes and hygiene practices of respondents. The major determinants of positive hygiene practice were sex, availability of kitchen facilities at home, type of school, and availability of toilet facilities in schools.

Conclusion: The study established a high knowledge level of diarrhoea and personal hygiene practices among respondents. However, there is a need for reinforcement from parents, teachers, and the government as well as the availability of hygiene enabling facilities at home and in schools to empower respondents to maintain their health and to influence the health of their families as well the entire society.

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