EFFECT OF WATER SOURCES ON THE HEALTH OF RURAL CHILDREN: EVIDENCE FROM HOUSEHOLD SURVEY IN KWARA STATE, NIGERIA
Majority of the disease outbreak in developing countries have been attributed to contaminated water with children being the worst hit. Therefore, this study analyzed the effect of water sources on the health status of children under the age of 5 years in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria. Primary data was obtained through the use of semi structured interviews; 150 households with at least one child under five years were interviewed however; only 146 questionnaires were completed and found valid for analysis. The data was subjected to descriptive statistics, such as pie chart, bar charts. The results show that majority (58.2%) of the children were males. Also, most (83.5%) of the children were infants, i.e. within the age range of 0-2 years. Most (96%) of the households had access to improved water sources of which protected dug well is the most accessible. Many (42%) of the households reported that they experience periods of water shortage, this explains why water washed diseases (disease associated with poor hygiene in the face of water scarcity) was the most predominant diseases reported among the children with 70 reported cases. These were closely followed by the water related insect vector diseases with 64 reported cases and then water borne diseases with 48 reported cases. Water based diseases rarely occurred in the study area. This study, therefore, recommends that effort should be geared towards provision of safe water all year round for the farming households. Also, insecticide treated nets should be made available for the children in the farming households so as to prevent insect bites.
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