Systematic review on WASH in Schools in Low – and Middle-Income Countries

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  • As a PhD Candidate at the Department of Earth Observation Science – University of Twente, I’m part of the Geohealth team, working with WASH in schools and COVID-19. Always working towards my career goals as a researcher whose work can significantly contribute to reducing inequality and health disparities.
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Systematic review on WASH in Schools in Low – and Middle-Income Countries

Hello everyone!
I would like to share the publication of a systematic review on WASH in Schools in Low – and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). This review included data from 18,465 schools across 30 countries extracted from 65 publications. This paper is the first chapter of my PhD as part of the Geohealth team at ITC, University of Twente (The Netherlands).

Title: Water,Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Implications for the COVID-19 Pandemic 
Abstract
The global COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the extent to which schools are struggling with the provision of safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). To describe the WASH conditions in schools and discuss the implications for the safe reopening of schools during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature on WASH in schools in low- and middle-income countries was performed. In April 2021, five databases, including MEDLINE (via PubMed), Web of Science, Scopus, AJOL, and LILACS, were used to identify studies. Sixty-five papers met the inclusion criteria. We extracted and analyzed data considering the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) definitions and the normative contents of Human Rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. Publications included in this systematic review considered 18,465 schools, across 30 different countries. Results indicate a lack of adequate WASH conditions and menstrual hygiene management requirements in all countries. The largely insufficient and inadequate school infrastructure hampers students to practice healthy hygiene habits and handwashing in particular. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, being hindered to implement such a key strategy to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the school environment is of major concern.
Keywords: water supply; WASH; hand disinfection; handwashing; menstrual hygiene management; SARS-CoV-2; developing countries; students; education; human rights

Poague ,K.I.H.M.; Blanford, J.I.; Anthonj, C. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Implications for the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 202219,3124. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053124

If you are interested, you can get to know more about our research with our following publications.

Research story: Why we have to learn about WASH in schools. Available in:
www.itc.nl/news/2021/9/93214/research-st...bout-wash-in-schools .
Poague, K.I.H.M. (2021).

COVID-19 and Water, Sanitationand Hygiene in Schools. Implications, Challenges, Solutions. Newsletter Arbeitskreis Medizinische Geographie und Geographische Gesundheitsforschung in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geographie, 2021(1), 5-6.
 
Kasandra Poague
Environmental Engineer, MSc Sanitation, Environment and Water Resource
Federal University of Minas Gerais - UFMG, Brazil
PhD Candidate at ITC, University of Twente, The Netherlands
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