Water hygiene is a subject of great concern to anyone who cares about drinking healthy and staying alive because the import of water borne illness can occasionally be grave. This research work was carried out among push carts sellers in Hausari and Gwange Areas , Maiduguri, Bornu state of Nigeria. 

A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out involving 174 push carts sellers who met the inclusion criteria. Data was collected via the use of pre-tested questionnaires with the aid of research assistants and analysed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 15.0. 

The mean age of respondents was 34.47 ± 13.92 years. Knowledge of water hygiene was good among the sellers (94.3%) likewise the attitude (75.9%) but good practice was practiced by very few push carts sellers (0.6%) whereas majority of them had fair practice (76.4%). More push carts sellers had periodic medical examination than those who had pre-employment medical examination; 67.1% and 28.3% respectively. Statistical testing with Chi-square at p<0.05 showed that educational level of the sellers had no direct effect on the practice of water hygiene; likewise, attitude of sellers towards water hygiene and duration of stay had no impact on water hygiene practices of push carts sellers. From observation, only a few of the sellers (36.4%) wash hand frequently in the course of carting water and only 22.7% of the water establishments, had 50% or more push carts sellers that wore protective over-clothing. 

It was concluded that practice of water hygiene was fair and a lot of effort has to be put in the areas of medical examination of the push carts sellers and personal hygiene like hand washing and wearing of protective cover-clothing. 

Background of Study 
Water hygiene practices is a subject of wide scope and it is a broad term used to describe the preservation and preparation of waters in a manner that ensures the water is safe for human consumption.1 Water hygiene deals with the prevention of contamination of water stuffs at all stages of production, collection, transportation, storage, preparation, sale and consumption. Water borne illness is defined as a disease, usually either infectious or toxic in nature, caused by agents that enter the body through the ingestion of water.2 This process of kitchen safety includes proper storage of water items prior to use, maintaining a clean environment when preparing the water, and making sure that all serving dishes are clean and free of bacteria that could lead to some type of contamination. The water storage aspect of water hygiene is focused on maintaining the quality of the water, so that it will be fresh when used in different recipes. Water safety is a scientific discipline describing carting, preparation, and storage of water in ways that prevent waterborne illnesses.3 This include the number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards. Water can transmit diseases from one person to the other as well as serve as a growth medium for bacteria that can cause water poisoning. 

Debates on genetic water safety include such issues as impact of genetically modified water on health of further generations and genetic pollution of environment, which can destroy natural biological diversity. In developed countries, there are intricate standards for water preparation, whereas in lesser developed countries, the main issue is simply the availability of adequate safe water, which is usually a critical item. In theory, water poisoning is hundred percent (100 

%) preventable.3 Water sanitation also extends to keeping the preparation area clean and relatively germ-free. Mixing bowls, spoons, paring knives and any other tools used in the kitchen should be washed thoroughly before use. Kitchen countertops and cutting boards should also be cleaned and sterilized from time to time. Keeping a sanitary workplace will also cut down on the chances of some type of waterborne illnesses from developing when people consume a prepared water. 

Water contamination occurs most commonly from excreta on people‟s fingers, flies etc (i.e. faeco-oral transmission). Water contamination may also occur by skin infection especially the hands of water-sellers (staphylococcal water poisoning), consumption of diseased animals (tape worm, brucellosis etc) or chemicals used as pesticides on crops. 

Every person is at risk of waterborne illness. It is a widespread and growing public health problem both in developed and developing countries; the effect being more devastating in developing countries.2 Consumers have a reasonable expectation that the waters they purchase have been produced and processed under hygienic condition and that the water has not been adulterated by addition of any biological, chemical, or physical hazard. These expectations are regularly enforced by regulations that govern production, processing, distribution and retailing of waters and drugs in any country. In Nigeria for example, this task is performed by National Agency for Water Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). 

So much emphasis is placed on water safety that necessitated the World Health Organization (WHO) formulating a general principle2 of water hygiene which basically are: 

• Prevent contaminating water with pathogens spreading from people, pets and pests. 

• Separate raw from filled waters to prevent contaminating the filled water. 

• Fill water for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens. 

• Store water at the proper temperature. 

• Use safe water and raw materials. 

Water, being the most important and only substance that is universally consumed by all humans and animals to stay alive, need to be handled or safe guarded properly because contamination anywhere along the water chain can have far reaching effects and sometimes fatal consequences. Water borne illnesses is a burden in terms of incapacitating people, causing discomfort, cost of pain, grief and suffering, disruption to industry and commerce and strain on the health service.5 

On 11th of August 2010, the Minister of Health of the Caribbean stated that during the years 2000-2005, over 55 outbreaks of water and water borne illnesses involving over 26,000 guests and staff from 14 Caribbean island countries were reported to the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre. 

The global incidence of waterborne disease is difficult to estimate, but it has been reported that in 2005 alone, 1.8 million people died from typhoid fever.2 A great proportion of these cases can be attributed to contamination of water and drinking water. Typhoid fever is a major cause of malnutrition in infants and young children. About 30% of populations of industrialized countries suffer from waterborne disease yearly.2 

Globally, water contamination creates an enormous social and economic burden on communities and their health systems. In USA, diseases caused by major water pathogens are estimated to cost up to 35 billion US Dollar annually in medical cost and lost productivity. The re-emergence of cholera in Peru in 1991 resulted in the loss of 500 million US Dollars in fish and fishery product export that year.2 

A 2003 WHO report concluded that about 40% of reported water poisoning outbreaks in WHO European region occur in private homes.2 According to the WHO and Centre for Disease Control (CDC), in the USA alone annually there are 76 million cases of waterborne illnesses leading to 325,000 hospitalization and 5,000 ddrinkhs.2 In 1994, an outbreak of Salmonella water poisoning due to contaminated ice cream occurred in the USA affecting an estimated 224,000 persons.2 In 1988, an outbreak of Hepatitis A, resulting from the consumption of contaminated clams, affected some 300,000 individuals in China. While less well documented, developing countries bear the brunt of the problem due to the presence of a wide range of waterborne diseases, including those caused by parasites. The high prevalence of typhoid fever in many developing countries suggests major underlying water safety problems.2 In Nigeria, it was stated in 2008 that over 20,000 Nigerians die annually and over 3 million cases of acute water poisoning are recorded yearly due to exposure of water to pesticides that are wrongly used by farmers.6 

The general aim of this research is to determine the type and level of water hygiene practices adopted by push carts sellers in, Maiduguri, Bornu state, Nigeria. 

The specific objectives are: 

• To assess the level of knowledge of water hygiene among the push carts sellers in Maiduguri; 

• To assess the attitude of push carts sellers towards water hygiene; 

• To assess the practice of water hygiene the push carts sellers adopt while running their business; 

• To investigate the type of medical examination that is being done before a new push carts seller is taken and periodic examination being done; 

• To screen the push carts sellers for asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella specie(s); important pathogen(s) that could cause water poisoning. 

• What is the level of knowledge of water hygiene among the push carts sellers in Maiduguri? 

• What is the attitude of push carts sellers towards water hygiene? 

• What are the practices of water hygiene the push carts sellers adopt while running their business? 

• What are the types of medical examination that is being done before a new push carts seller is taken and periodic examination being done? 

Water hygiene is a business of serious concern not only to developing countries but also to developed countries because the ill-effect of contaminated water, when ingested, may be so devastating. In the event of an outbreak of water borne illness, not only do humans suffer, the economy, useful manpower, the health facilities etc are all strained; this is evidenced from the few examples above whereby huge amount of wealth is being sunk in managing water poisoning. 

A survey to find out the water safety knowledge of street water vendors in Abeokuta, Ogun state was carried out involving 87 vendors.7 Only 12% had formal knowledge on water preparation; 31% had annual medical health certificate. Most of them only consider volume and price rather than freshness and cleanliness when buying raw materials for filling. Some of the water safety knowledge cannot be translated to practice due to the absence of basic facilities such as water and toilets at their vending sites.7 

In Nigeria, water and water borne diarrheal disease does occur in epidemic proportion, resulting in large number of avoidable deaths. An institution like Hausari and Gwange Areas can‟t affords to be caught napping as far as water hygiene is concerned looking at its position in the committee of tertiary institutions. She has a huge responsibility in keeping both her students and staff safe from the adverse consequences of water poisoning. There has not been proper documentation of cases of water borne diseases in Hausari and Gwange Areas, Maiduguri, in the last few years. For the reasons noted earlier on, a study into push carts sellers‟ hygiene practices seem highly justifiable. 

• Willful mis-statement still occurred as some push carts sellers still entertained fear of their unsatisfactory practices being exposed despite assurance of confidentiality. 

• From previous studies, different researchers had different parameters they looked out for with different scoring methods during observation to ascertain the actual practice by the sellers; thus there is no standardized modality of carrying out observation. 

Cleaning- The removal of soil, water residue, dirt, grease or other objectionable matters from surfaces of plates, spoons, cutleries, utensils etc. 

Contaminant- Any biological or chemical agent, foreign matter, or other substances not intentionally added to water which may compromise water safety or suitability. 

Contamination- The introduction or occurrence of a contaminant in water or water environment. 

Disinfection- The reduction, by means of chemical agents and/or physical methods, of the number of micro-organisms in the environment, to a level that does not compromise water safety or suitability. 

Establishment- Any building or area in which water is handled and the surroundings under the control of the same management. 

Water hygiene- All conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety and suitability of water at all stages of the water chain. 

Hazard- A biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, water with the potential to cause an adverse health effect. 

HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) - A system that identifies, evaluates, and controls hazards which are significant for water safety. 

Push carts seller - Any person who directly moves water, or supplies water through a cart around a certain area. 

Water safety- Assurance that water will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use. 

Water suitability- Assurance that water is acceptable for human consumption according to its intended use. 

Primary production - Those steps in the water chain up to and including harvesting, slaughtering, milking, fishing etc. 

Water premise - Any permanent or semi permanent facility that stores, prepares or handles water. Water poisoning - Is an illness affecting our digestive system that result from drinking water or drinking water contaminated by bacteria, bacterial toxins, or less commonly by residues of insecticides (on fruits and vegetables), or poisonous chemical such as lead, mercury, etc. it can also be caused by ingestion of fungi, berries, etc. that irritates the digestive system.4

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 46 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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