Assessing Students’ Knowledge on WASH-Related Diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Water-, sanitation-, and hygiene-related diseases are killing many people each year in developing countries, including Rwanda, and children under the age of five are the most vulnerable. This research assessed human waste disposal practices, knowledge on diseases caused by contact with human faeces, and knowledge on causes and prevention of selected WASH-related diseases. One thousand one hundred and seventy-three students were interviewed out of 2900 students. The results showed, regarding students’ waste disposal practices, that 96.3% use latrines, 20.5% practice open defecation in bushes, and 3.2% defecate in water bodies. Regarding knowledge on diseases caused by contact with human faeces, 56.9% responded that they were aware of cholera, 26.5% of diarrhoea, 2.2% of dysentery, 0.3% of malaria, 0.1% of shigellosis, and 3.8% of typhoid. The majority of the respondents, between 50–99%, could not identify the main causes of the WASH-related diseases. This paper also showed that students lack health knowledge in regard to WASH-related diseases’ causes and prevention. Therefore, the provision of water and sanitation infrastructures should go with the provision of health education on how to avoid these diseases and possible ways to improve the well-being of the students both at home and in their various schools.


External organisations
  • Pan African University
  • University of Ilorin
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Pedagogy
Original languageEnglish
Article number2052
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 10
Publication categoryResearch