203105 Evaluation of the School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) Program in Ghana, West-Africa

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Andrew Owusu, PhD , Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Norman Weatherby, PhD , Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Cynthia Bosumtwi-Sam , School Health Education Programs, Ghana Education Service, Accra, Ghana
Maria Revell, PhD , School of Nursing, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfressboro, TN
Kari Campbell, MA, CHES , Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Introduction: Poor hygiene and sanitation practices among school youth in Ghana lead to infectious diseases, diarrheal ailments and worm infestations. In 2004, the School Health Education Program (SHEP) unit partnered with local and international agencies to initiate the School Sanitation and Hygiene Education (SSHE) program in 4 of 10 regions. In 2007, SHEP employed WHO's Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) to monitor and evaluate the SSHE program.

Methods: We compared data between the 3 geographic study zones (South, Central and North) on hygiene/sanitation of 6236 junior secondary school students from 75 sample schools. Five questions on hygiene behaviors and sanitation were selected for analysis.

Results: Students in the South were significantly more likely than students in the Central or Northern zones to: 1) report tap water as the source of drinking water at school (64.2% [±1.9], 39.2% [±8.5], and 32.7% [±9.9], respectively); 2) brush teeth 1 or more times per day (92.2% [±1.9], 85.2% [±3.5], and 79.8% [±4.5], respectively); 3) wash hands before eating (95.6% [±1.7], 88.7% [±2.4], and 88.9% [±2.2], respectively); 4) wash hands after using the toilet or latrine (92.7% [±2.3], 85.1% [±3.0], and 85.3% [±2.8], respectively); 5) use soap when washing hands (90.6% [±2.0], 82.7% [±2.9], and 82.2% [±4.0], respectively).

Conclusion: Overall, students in the Southern zone which included 3 of the 4 SSHE regions reported better hygiene behaviors and sanitation than those in the Central and Northern zones. Since positive changes in hygiene/sanitation leads to lower morbidity and mortality, the SSHE should be implemented nationwide.

Learning Objectives:
The learner will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the School Sanitation and Hygiene program in Ghana, West-Africa

Keywords: Adolescents, International, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) coordinator for Ghana. April 2008: Owusu A., O’Hara Murdock P., Bosumtwi-Sam C. Addressing Adolescent Health Data Gap; GSHS Implementation in Ghana, West-Africa. Poster presentation at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. Fort Worth, TX. September 2007: Owusu A. & Bosumtwi-Sam. Harmonizing the Implementation of the Global School-Based Student Health Survey with DANIDA School Hygiene Program. Presented at the Water Supply, Sanitation and Health in local communities and schools in West Africa Conference. Sogakofe, Ghana.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.