Effects of Access to Safe Water on the Health of Students: A Case Study of Students At Makerere University
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This study was undertaken with the aim of effects of access to safe water on the health of students as regards given health indicators i.e. (1) prevention of typhoid, (2) prevention of diarrhea, (3) prevention of eye infection. The study further sought to ascertain whether the social demographic factors had an effect of having ever suffered from a water borne disease. The study used purposive sampling to determine the particular respondents to take part in the study. The study used primary data which was collected from University Students. Pearson chi-square test statistic was used to detect bivariate associations between health status and the each of the independent variables in the model. Students resident in apartments and hostels had higher odds of having ever suffered from water borne diseases (Odds ratio = 26.4 and 1.6 respectively) compared to those who reside in rentals, at home and in halls of residence at University. Students whose primary sources of water were water vendor or tank delivery and other sources were less likely to suffer from a water-borne disease (Odds ratio =0.1 and 0.2 respectively) than those whose primary source was free aid and a private well. Overall, residence and primary source of drinking water were identified as key determinants of contraction of a waterborne disease. With those who access water from private wells and those who stay at home having higher chances of suffering from water borne diseases. The study recommends that the government sensitizes the masses on boiling drinking water since it is vital in preventing suffering from a water borne disease. The government should expend more efforts in ensuring piped water is safe for human consumption. Similarly, government should set up water quality enforcement teams who should regularly visit the private wells and ensure the quality of water in the wells meets acceptable standards.