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      Water and Sanitation in Schools: A Systematic Review of the Health and Educational Outcomes

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          Abstract

          A systematic review of the literature on the effects of water and sanitation in schools was performed. The goal was to characterize the impacts of water and sanitation inadequacies in the academic environment. Published peer reviewed literature was screened and articles that documented the provision of water and sanitation at schools were considered. Forty-one peer-reviewed papers met the criteria of exploring the effects of the availability of water and/or sanitation facilities in educational establishments. Chosen studies were divided into six fields based on their specific foci: water for drinking, water for handwashing, water for drinking and handwashing, water for sanitation, sanitation for menstruation and combined water and sanitation. The studies provide evidence for an increase in water intake with increased provision of water and increased access to water facilities. Articles also report an increase in absenteeism from schools in developing countries during menses due to inadequate sanitation facilities. Lastly, there is a reported decrease in diarrheal and gastrointestinal diseases with increased access to adequate sanitation facilities in schools. Ensuring ready access to safe drinking water, and hygienic toilets that offer privacy to users has great potential to beneficially impact children’s health. Additional studies that examine the relationship between sanitation provisions in schools are needed to more adequately characterize the impact of water and sanitation on educational achievements.

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          Most cited references57

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          Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality

          (2011)
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            The world health report 2002 - reducing risks, promoting healthy life.

            J Guilbert (2003)
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              Effects of Hand Hygiene Campaigns on Incidence of Laboratory-confirmed Influenza and Absenteeism in Schoolchildren, Cairo, Egypt

              To evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive hand hygiene campaign on reducing absenteeism caused by influenza-like illness (ILI), diarrhea, conjunctivitis, and laboratory-confirmed influenza, we conducted a randomized control trial in 60 elementary schools in Cairo, Egypt. Children in the intervention schools were required to wash hands twice each day, and health messages were provided through entertainment activities. Data were collected on student absenteeism and reasons for illness. School nurses collected nasal swabs from students with ILI, which were tested by using a qualitative diagnostic test for influenza A and B. Compared with results for the control group, in the intervention group, overall absences caused by ILI, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, and laboratory-confirmed influenza were reduced by 40%, 30%, 67%, and 50%, respectively (p<0.0001 for each illness). An intensive hand hygiene campaign was effective in reducing absenteeism caused by these illnesses.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                Int J Environ Res Public Health
                ijerph
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                MDPI
                1661-7827
                1660-4601
                03 August 2012
                August 2012
                : 9
                : 8
                : 2772-2787
                Affiliations
                [1 ]The Water Institute, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 135 Dauer Drive, CB #7431, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; Email: cjasper@ 123456wakehealth.edu
                [2 ]Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 120 South Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; Email: let@ 123456email.unc.edu
                Author notes
                [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; Email: jbartram@ 123456email.unc.edu ; Tel.: +1-919-966-3934; Fax: +1-919-966-7911.
                Article
                ijerph-09-02772
                10.3390/ijerph9082772
                3447586
                23066396
                ef17dbf8-2aac-4118-a53b-310c41c1da84
                © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

                History
                : 04 May 2012
                : 14 July 2012
                : 17 July 2012
                Categories
                Review

                Public health
                school,handwashing,drinking,water,sanitation,menstruation
                Public health
                school, handwashing, drinking, water, sanitation, menstruation

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