Influence Of Provision Of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene And Sanitary Materials On Pubescent Girls’ School Attendance In Wajir South Sub-County
The importance of access to water, sanitation and hygiene education for school going children, is key in reducing absenteeism especially among female pupils. This study purposed to examine how factors related to provision of water, sanitation, hygiene education including provision of sanitary materials, as well as positive social cultural support influence school attendance among pubescent girls in rural primary schools in Wajir South Sub-County. The study examined independently the influence of each of the five variables namely access to water supply, hygiene education, sanitation (latrines in school), provision of sanitary materials for managing menses as well as supportive social cultural norms on pubescent girls school attendance. Simple random sampling procedure was used in selecting 148 pubescent girls who participated in the study. In addition purposive sampling technique was used to select seven (7) head teachers who provided information through in-depth interviews. Data collection utilised face to face interview with pubescent girls using questionnaires, interview guides for group discussions and in-depth interview guides with head teachers. Secondary data was gathered from literature review. Raw data from questionnaires was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22, while qualitative data from group interviews with pubescent girls and in-depth interviews with head teachers was analysed manually and summarised based on themes and patterns. The study utilized descriptive statistics in computing frequencies related to the study variables. From the study, it was evident that provision of water, hygiene education, sanitation facilities, sanitary materials and positive cultural support to pubescent girls influences their school attendance. The study therefore concluded that provision of water, hygiene education; basic sanitation as well sanitary materials coupled with positive support to pubescent girls in primary schools significantly reduced absenteeism in schools. The study recommends that stakeholders supporting interventions in water and sanitation in primary schools with pubescent girls should consider implementing the whole package (water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education) including provision of sanitary materials and social support as main interventions. The study also recommends that further studies should be carried out to assess the effects of the same variables on pubescent girls‟ academic performance and retention.
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