“Basic Personal Hygiene amongst Primary School Children”

For children maintenance of personal hygiene helps to improve the quality of life and longevity. This is of particular importance in a community with compromised living situation. This study was undertaken to educate the primary school childen on the practice of personal hygiene to identify any misconception among them regarding the maintenance of personal hygiene to find out their morbidity pattern and also to elicit the practice of personal hygiene among the children and the literacy status of their mothers. Poor health hygiene among school children is resulted from the lack of awareness of health benefits of personal hygiene. Diarrhoeal diseases worm infestations and dental diseases are most commonly associated with poor personal hygiene. The primary school is located at Ecole des Postes. It is made up pupils aged 1year to 11years and of kids living around this locality in search of knowledge.

The volunteers met at BORAX at 8:30am to discuss briefly and purchase the necessary materials needed for the visit. Each volunteer presented some points on basic hygienic in each of the classes we visited. In each class a detailed explanation and practical demonstration was done by some volunteers and a pupil was in turn ask to repeat the exercise. This was to make sure they had understood and were ready to practice once they were home.

-To elicit the relationship between practice of personal hygiene among primary school children -To identify misconceptions among the study population regarding the maintenance of personal hygiene

-To find out the knowledge and practice of personal hygiene among school children.

The IHO categorically joined the WHO in creating awareness on the risks of poor hygiene to stop the disasters and diseases associated with poor hygienic conditions. This activity ran for an entire day which comprised practical demonstrations of hand washing and teeth brushing. IHO went further to paste posters in each classroom visited

Figure 1: The repetition of the process of washing the hands by a student.

Figure 2. Leaving some remainders in class.

Figure 3. Demonstration of the process of brushing the teeth in class 5.

Figure 4. Explanation of basic hygienic measures by the IHO team

Figure 5: Picture with the teacher and students of CM1 Figure 6: Picture with the pupil

Figure 6: IHO team with the director of the school

The children of today will be the adults of tomorrow. By focusing on children today by giving them tools and knowledge to change behavior future generations can be stronger and healthier. The visit showed that there was a wide gap between practice and knowledge regarding most of the indicators of personal hygiene. Lack of some basic equipment which could ease understanding by the pupils; the nutritional status of the children was not studied which could be related to the state of personal hygiene

It is recommended that the government and school authorities should provide adequate equipment and necessary tool for proper hygiene to be respected around school campuses

The knowledge and practice of personal hygiene among children is not satisfactory. Therefore there is an immediate need for enhancement of knowledge among the primary school children where teachers and parents can play a vital role. -Pupils were encouraged to:

-Wash hands before and after meals

-Avoid sneezing over food and on their palms

-Wear clean dresses in and out of home

-Wash hands after visiting the toilet

-Throw dirt in the bin