Home ITCResearchPhD at ITCPhD projectsCOVID-19 and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools - Implications, Challenges, Solutions

COVID-19 and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools - Implications, Challenges, Solutions

Become a high-skilled geospatial professional
Student:K.I.H. Mingoti Poague MSc
Timeline:February 2021 - 15 February 2025

In an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, governments around the world temporarily closed educational institutions, some of which remain closed. School closures have impacted children as well as parents and teachers. Therefore, the opening of schools safely so that children are able to get back to "normal" life and learning is important. However, many schools in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) lack the WASH infrastructure to ensure a safe reopening of schools. Hitherto our research has been focusing in Brazil, a global COVID-19 hotspot, which is also constantly failing to implement a national response plan against SARS-CoV-2, including the safe opening of schools.

We seek to describe the current state of WASH conditions in schools in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic and identify possible barriers, enablers, and solutions related to WASH under the perception of the different schools' stakeholders. In order to fulfil my research, a mixed qualitative and quantitative methods approach is being employed. The quantitative analysis comprises spatial and non-spatial statistic analysis of WASH in schools in Brazil and possibly in other LMICs using secondary data retrieved by different datasets, such as from UNESCO, UNICEF and National Surveys. Qualitative research will comprise multiple qualitative methods (e.g. community-based participatory research and arts-based qualitative research, i.e. focus groups, interviews and photovoice).

Figure 1: Flowchart of the methodology process. Legend: Steps that  were done or are currently being carried out are marked in grey.

Our preliminary findings

 If you are interested, you can get to know more about our research with our following publications.

Poague, K.I.H.M.; Blanford, J.I.; Anthonj, C. (2022). Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review and Implications for the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 19, 3124. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053124. Anthonj, C.; Poague, K.I.H.M. (2021).

Poague K.I.H.M.; Blanford, J.I; Martínez, J.A.; Anthonj, C. Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in schools in Brazil pre-and peri-COVID-19 pandemic: Are schools making any progress? Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2023 Jan;247:114069. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2022.114069. Epub 2022 Nov 7. PMID: 36423433; PMCID: PMC9637527.

Research story: Why we have to learn about WASH in schools. Available at: https://www.itc.nl/news/2021/9/93214/research-story-why-we-have-to-learn-about-wash-inschools.

Poague, K.I.H.M. (2021). COVID-19 and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools. Implications, Challenges, Solutions. Newsletter Arbeitskreis Medizinische Geographie und Geographische Gesundheitsforschung in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Geographie, 1, 5-6.

Meet the team

K.I.H. Mingoti Poague MSc
PhD Candidate
prof.dr. J.I. Blanford
dr. C. Anthonj
dr. J.A. Martinez
Research theme
Acquisition and quality of geo-spatial information

Developments in sensor and web technology have led to a vast increase in earth observation data. Advanced methodology is needed for interpretation and integration of such big geo-data to support decision making.

Show more