Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Inadequate sanitation and hygiene remain a major health concern in the world today with ill effects that are particularly debilitating in developing nations. Preventable diseases related to poor sanitation (inadequate human waste disposal) and lack of hygiene are estimated to kill some 3900 children daily and are the leading causes of increasing morbidity and mo1iality among the poor in the world. The issue of inadequate sanitation and hygiene has been construed as a problem of the poor. ln the impoverished village of Njinikom in Cameroon, the lack of access to basic sanitation and hygiene is apparent in the practice of open defecation. This situation is made worse as most of the residents rely on running streams and spring water for cooking, laundry, bathing and other domestic chores. Because poor sanitation and hygiene is regarded as a major risk factor in the spread of infectious diseases transmitted through fecal-oral contact, improving access to basic sanitation and hygiene will go a long way to reduce the spread of diseases and the prevalence of morbidity and mortality associated with such diseases. There is a dearth of information related to sanitation and hygiene practices, and an absence of demographical data related to birth rate, morbidity, mortality, child welfare, infant and maternal mortality in Njinikom, reflecting a national trend in Cameroon.