Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

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  • canthonj
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Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

How do primary school books support WASH and health education in Kenya?
Which opportunities do they offer for interventions?

Read here
- an assessment of WASH, health and disease in school books
- a mapping over time what pupils study in Kenya
- an analysis of the level of integration of school book knowledge into education interventions and potential for sustainable health programming.

authors.elsevier.com/a/1d4Fq574Px294D
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  • Chaiwe
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  • Independent consultant (strategic planning, project management and M&E in WASH, climate action and, gender and HIV) and Part-time Solid Waste Management Lecturer at the University of Zambia.
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Re: Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

Dear Carmen,

You raise some very important questions here. The benefit of WASH education is that it helps improve the attitude of the learners on healthy behaviours and attitudes which leads to behavioural change in hygiene practices. I can imagine that depending on what is contained in the curriculum and in school textbooks, we can achieve more in terms of WASH interventions.

One thought that crosses my mind is that it is quite possible for school curriculums and books to help develop skills in handwashing and sanitation facility construction in children and young people. Let me draw your attention to this article about how possible innovation is among children who have access to information:

Kenyan WASH Innovator Aged 9


I also appreciate the resource you share about the review and assessment on coverage of WASH, health and diseases in the Kenyan school curriculum and the gaps in policies and implementation.  Rightly put in the recommendations, organisations and individuals responsible for WASH should ensure that school learning materials should be comprehensive, applicable and be as realistic as possible to the different regions and settings.

In Zambia, some of the deliberate interventions that are in place to promote learning achievement in schools through sanitation and hygiene is the SPLASH program. SPLASH aims to improve pupils’ health, learning and performance by increasing their access to safe water and adequate sanitation and improving their hygiene and health practices at school and at home. Read more here: www.washplus.org/countries/zambia.html  
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Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
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  • rblyth
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Re: Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

Hi Carmen,
Thank you for sharing this article, I think it is a really timely and important fact that NGOs too often ignore.
WASH interventions by NGOs need to support and leverage existing WASH curriculum content and current classroom lessons, I think your study is a great first step in recognizing the gap in many interventions and highlighting the need and opportunity provided by existing WASH education in schools in Kenya (it's probably fair to assume it is a similar situation in other countries).
WASH in Schools programmes are too often seen as separate from what goes on in the classroom (as I have found, in my admittedly, limited experience).
The final line in your abstract that "education materials already used in schools were considered by  none of  the  WASH education interventions in the considered intervention studies. " - is a damning indictment and is quite illustrative of the gap in interventions.
The solution seems to me to be a clear need for better coordination of WASH in School interventions so that those existing classroom materials and activities are considered and leveraged through NGO interventions. As you correctly point out, I think it would increase buy-in from teachers and school communities if WASH was not seen as something additional to teachers' current workload.

I think your recommendations at the end of your paper provide a clear way forward for NGOs working in WASH in Schools.

Congratulations on the publication.

Kind regards,
Ryan Blyth
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Re: Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

Hi Chaiwe,
Can you tell me if SPLASH is still running, I am looking for the most up to date information on the programme but keep getting sent to the programme that seems to have ended in 2019?

Thanks in advance,
Ryan
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  • Chaiwe
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Re: Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

Hello Ryan,

Rightly so, nothing presents itself with respect to SPLASH post-2019. We know with respect to Covid 19 a lot of these school projects have had slowed implementation due to school closures resulting from the pandemic and the need to adapt programming to the new normal. Now that children around the world are making their way back into schools, it would be great to learn what new initiatives are under design or implementation.

Have you come across anything that speaks to new school WASH programs since your last post?

Regards,
Chaiwe
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(With financial support by GIZ from June to October 2021)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
Emails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • canthonj
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Re: Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

Thanks a lot for sharing information about this initiative Chaiwe, this is super helpful. 

We are currently working on extensive research related to the impact of COVID-19 on WASH in schools, and on related implication, challenges and opportunities for safe school reopening in low- and middle-income countries with specific focus on Brazil.

Please share any resources you find useful in this regard.

Thanks a lot and all my best
carmen
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  • linda
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Re: Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

Hi Carmen,

This sounds super interesting. Do you also include African countries or do you have a focus on Latin America? Kind regards
Linda
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  • canthonj
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Re: Kenyan school book knowledge for water, sanitation, hygiene and health education interventions: Disconnect, integration or opportunities?

Hi Linda

we are starting with a systematic literature review that covers low- and middle-income countries globally before focusing the field research on Brazil. We start there, and are thinking of extending the study later.

Best
Carmen
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