Photo by George Becker from StockSnap

Hygiene practices are vital to one’s health and well-being even as students of tertiary institutions, especially in the prevention of the communicable disease(s). Scholars of tertiary institutions in Rivers State are targets of hygiene promotion and proper hygiene cannot be ensured with only the provision of hygiene facilities, even though hygiene facilities are available, the behaviour of the users does matter in the effective control of those communicable diseases. The students’ attitude towards good hygiene highly varies by gender and the environment. The students do some practice while not having the desired level of knowledge of hygiene.

Generally, there is a considerable gap in the knowledge, attitude and practice of hygiene among students. It is necessary to bear in mind that preventive measures at schools alone will not prevent the disease from spreading, but increased vigilance and hygiene can at least contribute to reducing its spread. It is pivotal for local leaders to provide sanitary and health specialist providers who will carry out fundamental duties in curtailing the spread of the novel pandemic called Covid-19. This will help to avoid staff and students exposure to other infectious diseases and discomfort.

The tertiary institutes need to procure and distribute critical hygiene and prevention items like facemasks, soap, and handwashing stations or hand sanitizer and commercial detergents, mop, buckets, water, basic personal protection equipment for tertiary institutions by cleaning staff. One of the recommendations according to CDC, and which applies to all is maintaining the distance of approximately 6 feet or two meters from others when possible.

The government must inform and train pupils, students, teachers and non-teaching staff on simple infection prevention and control measures. They should also be guided by the risk-based approach to maximize the educational and health benefit for students. The government is the key to a better and safer society and as such is mandatory for them to provide tools necessary in the fight of this virus which has taken many lives and is still at the edge of taken more. This pandemic has affected the economic sector, transportation (local and international), health of individuals and the worst of all it has caused depression in the society today.

In conclusion, Good hygiene lowers risks for diseases and illnesses commonly spread through viruses and bacteria. Failing to wash your hands and body regularly can cause these bacteria to multiply, increasing the risk for infection and other health problems. All guidelines, rules and regulations of WHO, CDC and Local authority needs to be adhered to for a better society. Do not forget “health is wealth”.

Chibueze Onunwo

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