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04/28/2016

Impact of School Health Committee (SHC) to prevent students from the use of unhygienic water

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I was impressed when to know this activity which staff done in schools. Children are innocent and they need protection from hard environment and poor health facilities. This is something lovely support to them. JEN and JEN staff is performing very well in such kind of activities. JEN is committed to provide healthy and hygienic environment in all targeted schools in Afghanistan. For ensuring the provision of safe water and awareness of safety to the students, JEN conducted water tests in all targeted schools, to know the quality of drinking water. Through these tests it was revealed that water in 25 schools is unhygienic and cannot be used for drinking purpose. JEN installed warning boards in all 25 schools. The purpose of the warning board installation is to prevent students from drinking contaminated water.

For further ensuring the safety of the students, School Health Committees (SHC) was established in these schools. SHC consist of 10 members. These members include 8-9 students and 1-2 teachers. These students were trained by JEN staff. Their training includes the following topics: Students’ health care, To aware the students about safe and unsafe water, Prevention from drinking of unsafe water, Discussion about warning board installation, Sharing the data with School Management committee (SMC), Reporting to DOE health officer on monthly basis (School Administration staff).

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SHC held group sessions & individual sessions as well with all students. Each morning, one member of SHC checked the personal hygiene of students. During the break time, they regularly monitor the students, whether they go for taking the contaminated water or not. If yes, then to facilitate them in detail not to use this water and explain why students cannot use. Besides, SHC work in collaboration with SMC. SMC is also working in the schools for the facilitation of students.

To measure the impact of the SHC, Pre and Post KAP survey was conducted in these 25 schools. In each school 10 students were interviewed. In total 10 questions were asked from each student.

•How many types of water are there?
•How many source of water do you know?
•Which source of water is healthy?
•Which source of water is unhealthy?
•Does water you drink smells bad?
•Does water you drink taste bad?
•Do you think water can carry diseases?
•What is hygiene of environment?
•What is important of handwashing?
•What is time of hands washing?

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Based on a certain criterion, three categories were established. On the basis of their answers, students were put in three categories i.e. high, middle and low. Students with very good knowledge and practices were put in the high category while students with moderate knowledge and practices were put in the middle category. Students with almost zero knowledge and practices were put in the low category. The Pre KAP (Knowledge, Attitude, practice) survey showed that there was no student in the “high” category, they know nothing about the asked questions answers. According to the Pre KAP data, 214 out of 250 students were placed in the “middle” category, while 36 out of 250 students were placed in the “low” category. After providing awareness to the students in detail about asked questions and unhygienic environment, post KAP survey showed 243 out of 250 students were placed in the “high” category as compared to 0 in the Pre KAP survey and there is no student in the “low” category currently.

The above data clearly shows that SHC is doing their responsibilities efficiently. They successfully spread the message to the students. SHC is sending their activity report to department of education on monthly basis. According to the post KAP survey result, the students are now aware of the side effect and disadvantage of using dirty water and no one is using the contaminated water now. Besides that there is a strong bond of connection between SMC and SHC in these schools and they are helping each other in carrying out the tasks.

Humaira Wahab
(Administrative and HR Assistant)

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April 28, 2016 in Afghanistan |