Influence of Safe Excreta Disposal Campaigns on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices among Rural Residents in South-East Nigeria



This study investigates the influence of safe excreta disposal campaigns on the knowledge, attitude and practices of rural people in South East Nigeria. To investigate this, the researcher used Convergent Mixed methods design to generate quantitative and qualitative data through questionnaire, in-depth interview and observation. A sample of 18 communities was drawn from 18 rural LGAs in South East Nigeria where the study is based. After the analysis, findings revealed that rural residents were aware of the health dangers associated with unsafe disposal of excreta. This was as a result of their exposure to media messages on unsafe excreta disposal campaigns designed and executed by UNICEF and WHO. The findings also revealed that the knowledge level of the respondents on unsafe disposal increased as a result of their exposure to the campaigns. The increase in respondents’ knowledge level was determined by the ability of the respondents to recall 78 percent of the dangers associated with indiscriminate disposal as contained in the campaigns. Again, it was found that over 56 percent of the rural people have positive attitude towards safe excreta disposal. In essence, the respondents now believe that there are health dangers associated with unsafe excreta disposal. However, observation revealed that this positive attitude did not translate to practice as majority of them still defecate in open fields, bush, streams and farmlands. The respondents attributed this negative practice to lack of toilet facilities and the fact that they were comfortable defecating in the open. Based on these findings, it was recommended that the current safe excreta campaigns by UNICEF and WHO should be redesign for efficiency using the fear appeal strategy. This is because the current campaigns failed to emphasis the health dangers inherent in unsafe disposal. The fear appeal strategy has been proven to be effective by health promotion theorists. Again, local government councils in Nigeria should help in providing toilet facilities in schools, markets and homes.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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