Knowledge and Perception of Pupils on Health and Environmental Risk of Open Defaecation: A case Study in the First Cycle Schools in Eastern and Volta Regions of Ghana

Saviour V.K. Adjibolosoo, Philip B. Adongo, Tawiah-Yirenya Dzidzo, Benjamin D. Ofori, Stephen Afranie


Open defaecation remains major public and environmental health concerns and has attracted global attention in recent time. This study explores the knowledge and perception of pupils on health and environmental risk of open defaecation. Self-reported data were collected from 400 school pupils using questionnaires, focus group discussions and in-depth interview. Results of the study shows high knowledge level (89.8%) among the pupils. Pupils’ knowledge of environmental risks was fairly high (52%). Knowledge of health risks was, however, low among greater number (53%) of the pupils. Open defaecation shows statistical significant association with health risk (2 =65.062, p=0.002), environmental risk (2 = 44.961, p=0.006) and pupils level of perception of environmental risk (2 = 36.887, p=0.045). The Ministry of Education must introduce courses into the school curriculum to help pupils acquire adequate knowledge on health and environmental consequences of open defaecation. 

Keywords: Knowledge, perception, health & environmental risks, open defaecation, first cycle school pupils, Eastern, Volta, Ghana.

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