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School sanitation and hygiene education - 'SWASTHH'

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conference contribution
posted on 2018-02-12, 15:09 authored by Marielle Snel
In many developing countries schools are the only organized institutions available in villages and communities which offer a place for children to learn and play. However, in many countries schools have very poor or even lack proper water and sanitation facilities which inevitably means an unsanitary, unhealthy and inconvenient environment for children that may consequently contribute to poor hygiene habits, absenteeism and drop out rates particularly among girls. Since schools are important learning places, the promotion of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation within schools help children to adopt good habits during formative childhood. The provision of safe water and sanitation facilities are as much a basic need as a right for all children. Moreover, good hygiene education will improve the health and attendance of children and is likely to result in a lower drop out rates. School sanitation and hygiene education(SSHE) is therefore the combination of hardware and software components that are necessary to produce a healthy school environment. The hardware components are the water and sanitation facilities in and around the school compound. The value of new and improved facilities nevertheless have minimal consequences without the support of hygiene education programmes helping schoolchildren make deliberate choices with regards to water and sanitation related behavior. In essence, it is the combination of hard and software components that prevent water and sanitationrelated diseases (Unicef and IRC, 1998). This brief paper sets out to focus on some of the main challenges in SSHE. It also mentions one UNICEF SSHE programme in India and presents some key concluding questions.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


SNEL, M., 2000. School sanitation and hygiene education - 'SWASTHH'. IN: Pickford, J. (ed). Water, sanitation and hygiene - Challenges of the Millennium: Proceedings of the 26th WEDC International Conference, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 5-9 November 2000, pp.171-173.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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