Female students suffer for lack of hygienic school toiletsStaff Correspondent
Female students suffer severely due to poor toilet and washroom sanitation in schools, colleges and universities with rising absenteeism, falling academic grades and different health problems.
The crux of the problems is poor sanitation, particularly dirty washrooms and toilets, which make the female students sick and force them to stay away from their classes.
Salma Sultana, a student of Viqarunnesa Noon School, told New Age that she did not use the school toilets as they were always dirty and unhygienic and that she did not even go to school during her menstrual cycle.
She added that her grade was falling gradually as she kept herself absent at least one week in every month when she is on her period.
Sajia Chowdhury, another student of Viqarunnesa Noon College, said she got a critical urinary tract infection as she could not use toilets at the college due to poor sanitation.
‘Most of the toilets are filthily dirty and unhygienic… so many of us cannot use them. As a result, we suffer from urinary tract infection and sometimes cannot attend the class with full concentration. Sometime we have to skip the classes’, she added.
‘We have adequate toilets compared to the number of students and those are always clean and hygienic. We employed many cleaners to clean those thrice a day,’ claimed Monju-Ara-Begum, the principal of Viqarunnesa Noon School and College.
She said sometimes the toilets are not clean because of overuse. As soon as the students complain about the unclean toilets, cleaners are asked to clean them, she added.
Sharmin Hossain, a student of Eden Girls’ College, told New Age that the number of toilets was not adequate compared to the number of students and the toilets were always unclean and unhygienic.
‘I never use the toilet at the college… consequently I have been suffering from urinary tract infection’, she said.
The principal of Eden Girls’ College, Rawshon Jahan said, ‘We have all the required sanitation facilities for the girls. There are clean toilets for them.’
She, however, admitted that sometimes the toilets could be unclean due to excessive use.
Sifat Sharmin, a student of Dhaka University, said that there were very few toilets in the Arts Building for the female students and most of the time those remained dirty and filthy. Sometimes there was no water supply even.
DU vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique told New Age that the number of female students was almost similar to that of male students, but the number of toilets for female students was not adequate.
‘We are trying to provide adequate sanitation facilities for the female students in the new buildings which are under construction. But it is not possible to increase the number of toilets in the existing buildings’, he added.
The VC said sometimes toilets remained unclean due to overuse and negligence of the cleaners, but the students should complain to the authorities concerned about this matter.
Arefin pointed out that Dhaka City Corporation should build some public toilets on the university campus so that the students and outsiders could use them.
WaterAid country representative Khairul Islam told New Age that getting hygienic sanitary facilities and safe water supply are basic rights of every citizen.
The female students of rural areas are more sufferers than those of the urban areas due to poor sanitation, he added.
‘We are trying to promote hygienic sanitation as well as education about menstrual hygiene in schools,’ he said.
Arifa Rahman, a teacher of psychology department of Dhaka University, said girls have a tendency not to use unhygienic toilets.
Associate professor of nephrology department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Asia Khanam said she had some patients who suffered from urinary tract infection and most of them were school going young girls.
She said those patients have admitted that they could not use their school toilets because of poor sanitation though they have to stay at school for a long time. As a result, they suffer from urinary tract infection.
She explained that symptoms of the infection vary according to age and gender.
Among young girls UTI symptoms typically include a frequent and intense urge to urinate and a painful and burning feeling in the bladder during urination. The amount of urine may be very small. Urine may look cloudy, dark or bloody or have a foul smell.
Severe UTI causes high fever, kidney stone and sometimes kidney failure, she said.
Asia said change in some daily habits may help a person prevent recurrent UTIs by drinking lot of fluid, vegetables and fruits that can help flush bacteria from the system.
Besides, she advised that loose-fitting clothes should be worn so air can keep the body dry.
comments powered by Disqus