ISABB Journal of
Health and Environmental Sciences

  • Abbreviation: ISABB J. Health Environ. sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1937-3236
  • DOI: 10.5897/ISABB-JHE
  • Start Year: 2011
  • Published Articles: 15

Article in Press

Review of the Effects of Adequate Sanitary Facilities on the Participation and Performance of the School Girl Child in Ghana

Jane Akanzum and Cornelius K.A. Pienaah

  •  Received: 01 May 2021
  •  Accepted: 08 July 2021
Establishing good water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practice in schools is about infrastructure, operation, maintenance and education. Health education that includes WASH topics contributes to improving health, well-being and quality of life. It increases Girl-child self-esteem, self-confidence and coping capacity with positive effects on their school performance. This review explored the relationship and effect of sanitary facilities in educational institutions on Girl-child participation, assessed the health impact of adequate sanitary facilities in schools on Girl-child education, assessed the state of sanitary facilities and sanitary behaviors in public Junior High Schools and as well identified sustainable solutions, and made recommendations on how to provide adequate sanitary facilities towards bridging the education inequality in Junior High Schools. The review adopted a qualitative research approach, gathered and analyzed secondary data at both global and local levels (with focus on the Ghana experience), on the study objectives. The study revealed the following: availability of sanitary facilities in schools has a potential to reduce students absenteeism especially among the girl child. Poor sanitary facilities conditions has adverse impact on girl’s privacy and comfort and the ability to effectively manage their menstrual hygiene which affects their participation in school activities due to fear of leakage. Girls avoid eating or drinking during the day to further avoid using the sanitary facilities making it difficult to concentrate while in school. This study shows that school WASH issues are associated with health conditions like vector-borne illnesses such as helminth infections, respiratory infections and diarrhoea, as well as incidents of harassment and humiliation in school toilets. The state of sanitary facilities and services in schools are poor and inadequate, despite the efforts the government of Ghana has put in to provide sanitary facilities in schools. Majority of schools do not have access to fundamental sanitary and hygiene amenities such as separate lavatories, water for washing of hands as well as waste disposal system that meet the national standards set by GES. For schools with basic amenities, they are in awful state as a result of neglect. Therefore it is imperative to comprehend the educational as well as health aftermaths of adequate sanitary facilities in schools. This will assist the governments and contributors to allot resources to school-based WASH involvements as well as aid organizations to project and carrying out operative involvements.

Keywords: Gender, Girl-child education, Health, Hygiene, Sanitation, Water