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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(6), 6197-6217; doi:10.3390/ijerph120606197

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools in Low Socio-Economic Regions in Nicaragua: A Cross-Sectional Survey

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, The Water Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Managua 10000, Nicaragua
Independent Consultant, Managua 10000, Nicaragua
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 14 January 2015 / Accepted: 25 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
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Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) in schools contributes to better health and educational outcomes among school-aged children. In 2012, UNICEF Nicaragua and partners conducted a cross-sectional survey of WaSH in 526 schools in 12 low socio-economic status municipalities in Nicaragua. The survey gathered information on: school characteristics; teacher and community participation; water and sanitation infrastructure; and hygiene education and habits. Survey results were analyzed for associations between variables. WaSH coverage was significantly higher in urban than rural areas. Presence of drinking water infrastructure (43%) was lower than sanitation infrastructure (64%). Eighty-one percent of schools had no hand washing stations and 74% of schools lacked soap. Sanitation facilities were not in use at 28% of schools with sanitation infrastructure and 26% of schools with water infrastructure had non-functional systems. Only 8% of schools had budgets to purchase toilet-cleaning supplies and 75% obtained supplies from students’ families. This study generates transferable WaSH sector learnings and new insights from monitoring data. Results can be used by donors, service providers, and policy makers to better target resources in Nicaraguan schools. View Full-Text
Keywords: equity; monitoring and evaluation; Sustainable Development Goals; WaSH equity; monitoring and evaluation; Sustainable Development Goals; WaSH

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jordanova, T.; Cronk, R.; Obando, W.; Medina, O.Z.; Kinoshita, R.; Bartram, J. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools in Low Socio-Economic Regions in Nicaragua: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 6197-6217.

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