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THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH EDUCATION IN THE CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASE SPREAD IN NIGERIA AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS

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THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTH EDUCATION IN THE CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASE SPREAD IN NIGERIA AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Back Ground of the study

School health services are those given in schools by health educators, nurses, doctors, dentists, and other health-related employees such as guidance counselors and social workers to assess, promote, and safeguard students' and staff's health. According to Johnson and Mayowa (1991), school health services are procedures established to assess the health status of pupils and school personnel, counsel pupils, parents, and others regarding appraisal findings, provide follow-up services, provide emergency care for injury or sudden illness, assist in the prevention and control of communicable diseases, and encourage the correction of remedial defects.

School health services are intended to assess kids' physical and mental well-being, to prevent sickness, and to elicit parental and child collaboration in order to repair deficiencies and maintain health (Mshelia M.D., 1999). According to Akinbile and Akinkunmi (1998), school health services contribute to those school activities that are directly related to the school child's current health condition. Nwana and Onyema (1988) expressed sadness that what is referred to as school health care in Nigeria is a farce, while Kane and Collins (1997) observed that although specific clinics have been developed for the welfare of school students, the same cannot be said for their health. Neglect of school health care might be related to Nigerians' erroneous belief that once a kid reaches school age, he becomes resistant to sickness. In Nigeria, Abiodum & Sunkanmi (1996) conducted a survey of 500 pupils aged five to fifteen years in a small rural community and discovered that 75% (75%) suffered from mental morbidity, while emotional and behavioral disturbances accounted for 67% (67%) of the total morbidity rate detected, prompting him to emphasize the importance of more functional school health services. The most fundamental role of school health services is to assess children' health. According to Freeman and Lorrein (1999), health appraisal entails continuous and close observation of the school child and teacher, whereas Turner, Bandall, and Smith (1990) defined health appraisal as a process that ensures professional advice to pupils and their families regarding personal health, as well as advice to the school regarding the adaptation of the school program to the needs of pupils. Dental examination, vision, hearing, and speech screening tests, medical examination, health history, and teacher observations should all be included in the health evaluation.

According to Tahir and Aminu (1997), Nigeria has a population of 9.3 million nomadic people, of whom 3.1 million are school-aged children. According to Mshelia (1999), these nomadic school-aged children do not enjoy long-term health due to the presence of several communicable diseases; they also suffer from multiple infestations and illnesses. As a consequence, their morbidity rate is high, and he attributes this to communicable illnesses caused by poor environmental conditions. Malnutrition, accidents, and a general lack of health care all contributed to the high morbidity rate. Mshelia Madeline (1999) continued by stating that if school health programs were rigorously pursued in nomadic primary schools, the frequency of high morbidity rates among school kids would have been kept to a bare minimum. As a result of the aforementioned, the purpose of this research is to determine the significance of health education in preventing the spread of communicable diseases in Nigeria among primary school kids.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Primary school students' health is a worldwide issue, since children are the most valuable assets any country can have, as their well-being represents the nation's future. The school years are a time of fast physical and mental growth for children, necessitating the implementation of a functioning school health program to ensure the child's entire development. According to experts, nomadic primary school kids have suffered from communicable illnesses, infections, fatal injuries as a consequence of tetanus infection, dental cavities, rashes, inadequate first aid kits for emergency treatment, and recorded incidents of epidemics caused by poor environmental circumstances. Nomadic school kids have not shown a high degree of good health behaviors and attitudes, which is the goal of the school health service.

Mshelia and Madeline (1999) argued that nomadic children had a short life expectancy owing to high mortality rates and a lack of long-term health due to the presence of several infectious illnesses. However, if school health programs in nomadic primary schools are appropriately funded and rigorously implemented, absence in schools and high illness rates among nomadic primary school kids may be reduced, if not eliminated entirely. However, based on the aforementioned, this research will assess the significance of health education in preventing the spread of communicable diseases among primary school kids in Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The general objective of the study is to examine the importance of health education in the control of communicable disease spread in Nigeria among primary school pupils. Specifically, the study will be guided under the following:

i.          To examine the effect of health education among primary school pupils

ii.        To find out if health education helps control the spread of communicable disease.

iii.      To evaluate the challenges in sensitizing primary school pupils on the spread of communicable disease.

iv.      To recommend ways to improve health education among primary school pupils in Nigeria in other to control the spread of communicable disease.

1.4       Research questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

i.          What is the effect of health education among primary school pupils?

ii.        Does  health education helps control the spread of communicable disease?

iii.      What are the challenges in sensitizing primary school pupils on the spread of communicable disease?

iv.      What are the recommend ways to improve health education among primary school pupils in Nigeria in other to control the spread of communicable disease?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be significant to the ministry of health as t will be exposed  to the need of sensitizing primary school pupil on the important of health education and how to control the spread of communicable disease.

This study is significant to school management as it will be exposed to the need of having health education department in the school in other for periodic sessitization of pupils.

1.6       Scope Of The Study

This study will examine the effect of health education among primary school pupils. The study will also find out if health education helps control the spread of communicable disease. The study will further evaluate the challenges in sensitizing primary school pupils on the spread of communicable disease. Lastly, the study will recommend ways to improve health education among primary school pupils in Nigeria in other to control the spread of communicable disease. Hence the study will be delimited to public primary schools in Kwara State.

1.7       Limitation of the study

Just like any other research, unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, and inability to get data were among the constraints the researcher encountered in the cause of this study. Financial constraint was equally faced by  the researcher, in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires. Furthermore, time factor pose another constraint because the researcher have to shuttle between writing of the research and engaging in other academic work which made it uneasy for the researcher.

1.8       Definition of terms

Health education: consciously constructed opportunities for learning involving some form of communication designed to improve health literacy, including improving knowledge, and developing life skills which are conducive to individual and community health.

Communicable disease: illnesses that result from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic (capable of causing disease) biologic agents in an individual human or other animal host.


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