The Knowledge of Hygiene and Sanitation Practices in the Collection, Treatment and Preservation of Potable Water in Santa, North West Cameroon
|Bodzewan Emmanuel Fonyuy*|
|Nursing Top, Training School for State Registered Nurses Bamenda, Ministry Of Public Health of Cameroon National, Cameroon|
|Corresponding Author :||Bodzewan Emmanuel Fonyuy
Nursing Top, Training School for State Registered Nurses Bamenda
Ministry of Public Health of Cameroon National, Cameroon
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received July 30, 2014; Accepted August 28, 2014; Published September 04, 2014|
|Citation: Fonyuy BE (2014) The Knowledge of Hygiene and Sanitation Practices in the Collection, Treatment and Preservation of Potable Water in Santa, North West Cameroon. J Biosafety Health Educ 2:121. doi: 10.4172/2332-0893.1000121|
|Copyright: © 2014 Fonyuy BE. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
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The health burden of poor water quality is enormous. It is estimated that around 37.7 million individuals are affected by water-borne diseases; annually 1.5 million children are estimated to die from diarrheal-related diseases each year. The developing countries in the world still face the problem of water scarcity with Africa having the largest number of countries with problems. Due to water scarcity, many families tend to store water in their home for long term use. Most families have inadequate knowledge or are ignorant on the duration of the storage and the type of container or vessel used in the collection and storage of drinkable water.
The general objective of the study was to assess the knowledge and practices of the inhabitants of Santa Health District in the collection and preservation of potable water in order to avert the occurrence of water-borne diseases.
The specific objectives of the study were:
• To assess the knowledge of the inhabitants of Santa Health District on the collection, treatment and preservation of potable water.
• To determine the practical measures employed in the collection, treatment and preservation of potable water.
• To identify the problems faced in the collection, treatment and preservation of potable water.
• To ascertain the information they need from health personnel to complement the practice of the collection and preservation of potable water.
A descriptive cross sectional study design was employed for the study where-in primary data was collected at one point in time from inhabitants of the Santa Health District in order to collect their responses on the protection and preservation of portable water. The instrument employed for primary data collection was a structured questionnair with open and close-ended questions, administered by the researcher and co-researchers to the study population in the randomly selected quarters using cluster sampling. A sample size of 110 households was recruited for the study. Results show that concerning respondents’ knowledge of drinking water, 68 (58.18%) defined drinkable water as water safe enough to be consumed with low risk of harm, 24 (21.8%) defined it as water which originates from pipe borne water while 16 (14.5%) said that it is water from any natural source. On criteria used in the identification of unsafe water, 68 (58.18%) said they identified water which is not safe for drinking from its color, taste and odor, 32 (29.1%) said only the color of water while 6 (4%) said from its taste and odor and 3 (2.7%) said from the odor of water. On their sources of potable water when there is shortage of water supply, 58 (52.72%) said they got water from springs, 22 (20%) got their water from wells while 8 (16%) got theirs from streams and 6 (5.4%) said they got water from different taps around the municipality. On the issue of water protection and preservation from contaminants, 58 (52.7%) of the responses were that they lacked containers for their drinking water, 32 (29.5%) said they lacked chemicals and filters to treat their water, while 14 (12.9%) did not have knowledge in the protection and preservation of potable water while 06 (5.5%) said that the problem they encountered was the presence of children playing around drinkable water sources and water storage containers. From this study, it was found out that: respondents were not well educated on the protection and preservation of potable water; 72% of respondents did not treat water collected from streams or springs which is the main reason for the essence of public health education for the prevention against water borne diseases; 64.2% of the respondents stored their potable water as long as possible well above the stipulated duration for the preservation of drinking water. From the data collected, and analysis made it be can be concluded that there exist inadequate knowledge on the protection and preservation of potable water. Their understanding of the notions of hygiene and sanitation, the knowledge and practices on the collection and preservation of potable water are not based on the level of education but on how much public health information they got about drinking water collection, treatment and preservation. So, an up-to-date, knowledge and practices on the collection, treatment and preservation of potable water is necessary for the wellbeing of the Santa community. The Council’s hygiene and sanitation service should take it as duty function to organize regular public health education lectures in social institutions in order to enlighten the community.