Background of the Study
Education clearly denotes intrinsic worthwhile activities. It is a process of being initiated into knowledge and understanding which in turn regulate the recipients’ attitudes, emotions, wants and actions. Jaiyeoba (2007) perceived education as a priority sector in every well-meaning society, she referred to it as a major force in economic, intellectual, social and cultural empowerment. The value of education in bringing about character and attitudinal change ranks as important as its ability to change and reshape human potentials for desired development. Education, globally as well as in
Nigeria is majorly divided into three levels- the primary, primary and the tertiary education.
The primary education serves as the foundational level of all other education by providing the children with a good preparatory ground for further education. According to Quadri (2001) the Section 4, page 12 of the National Policy on Education (2004) described primary education as the “education given in an institution for children aged normally between 6 years to 11 years plus.” The primary education level is the key to the success or failure of the whole educational edifice because the rest of the educational system is built upon it. Primary education according to the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) is likened to the key which opens to success or failure of the whole educational system. Akande (2010) reiterated Njoku (2000) regarded primary education as very vital and fundamental to all types of education any person can receive in life.
Communicable diseases are as old as man and they constitute a great menace to human beings in every part of the world. They are one of the greatest problems facing children today.
The diseases are silent killers unlike accident that kills instantly. Man has been trying to get rid of these diseases, for years but efforts made have proved partially abortive. Specifically, pre-school children (0-5 years old) are prone to communicable diseases because of their close interaction with one another, their non-discriminatory behaviours and also their low immunity power.
A communicable disease is an illness caused by a specific infectious agent or it’s toxic products (Heymann, 2004). It arises through transmission of that agent or its products from an infected person or animal to a susceptible host either direct or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector or the inanimate environment. Infectious disease can be a major cause of illness among children and can affect a child’s schooling by causing absenteeism .They may in turn, affect other children and staff, and can prevent parents careers ability to work, especially where both parents careers work (Crosson, 2000). School health programs could not be fully implemented without having staff and parent’s cooperation and involvement .Parents, community leaders and teachers often can and do serve as role models for students. Students serve as a linkage with school and family while parents can and should cooperate with schools to help their children (Lee, Lee and Kim; 2010).Communicable diseases spread quickly among students in the classroom, there must be gathered printable and advise for germ prevention in school. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in public concern about communicable diseases in the schools all over the world .School administrations must find ways to strike a balance between protecting the general school population from exposure to dangerous communicable diseases and ensuring the infected student’s right to privacy and to public education (Meeks, Heit and Page; 2003).
Communicable diseases have been known to exact a tremendous toll, causing increased morbidity and mortality among school age children. These diseases have track record of higher rate in developing countries than developed countries. For instance, Sixty-two percent of all deaths in Africa and 31% of all deaths in South East Asia have been attributed to it, as against 5% of all deaths in Europe. Reducing this disparity has been a major concern globally (Global Health Council, 2005). Among the major causes of all children’s death each year, diarrhoea and acute respiratory diseases cause about half, both of which are transmitted from person to person during everyday interaction, through the air, through skin contact and through contamination of the environment (Achalu, 2004).
WHO, in 2004 opined that communicable disease alone kills almost 2 million children worldwide annually. Also, here in Nigeria, over 150,000 deaths occur annually amongst children due to communicable disease. The effect of which is also known to contribute to the loss of 22 million school days each year. A simple hygiene habit – washing hands with soap – could halve this figure (Centres for Disease Control (CDC), 2007).
Statement of the Problem
Learning, hygiene and health are strongly inter-linked as children miss school or perform poorly when they are suffering from diseases related to poor hand washing. These illnesses spread fast where many children are together for many hours a day. Most of these children may not have great hygiene practices. Also many parents send their children to school whether they are well or not and the spread of diseases happens very fast in schools than just about any other place in the society. Therefore this study intends to make a study of communicable diseases among the primary school pupils in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State.