Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in a given community determines the burden of the majority of enteric diseases. It is actually less described in public places; especially in Cameroon primary schools where schoolchildren spend most of their time.
This study was conducted to assess access to WASH in primary schools of Dschang Health district.
Ten of 22 health areas of Dschang health district were selected by systematic random sampling. All primary schools of selected health areas were visited and proposed to participate. Data were collected in April 2016 by trained surveyors on smartphones using ODK (Open Data Kit) forms.
Of existing 92 primary schools, heads of 87 (97%) with about 20000 schoolchildren accepted to participate. Sixty eight (78%) of these schools did not have water source. Of 19 schools with a water source, the most frequent type of water source was drilling, found in 8 schools (68%). The proportion of schools with a water source varied per schools type (17% (11/70) for public schools, and 47% (8/17) for private schools; p< 0.02). Seventy nine (91%) of schools had at least one toilet. Where it existed, the number of toilet per school varied from 1 to 8 (mean = 2.6). Forty one (52%) schools had improved latrines and 38 (48%) had unimproved ones. Sixty four (81%) of schools latrines had no water source, 54 (68%) no soap and 68 (86%) no toilet tissue. Seventy schools had no waste water disposal system (81%).
Access to water and sanitation in primary schools of Dschang health district is actually very limited and predisposes schoolchildren to high morbidity of disease related to limited access to WASH.