Assessment of WASH scenarios in urban and rural schools of a small city in the Brazilian Amazon

<div><p>ABSTRACT This study analyzed environmental aspects of county and state managed public schools within Tefé county in the Brazilian Amazon, using the WASH concept (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) developed by UNICEF and OMS. WASH is a strategy used since 1995, when child mortality rates were on the rise. Research was conducted using a questionnaire applied to employees of 19 primary and secondary schools, and based on WASH principles. After its application, we used an observation checklist to assess the state of the schools’ physical structure. We also conducted water quality analyses. All schools presented water contamination with total coliforms and 26% did not conduct any type of water treatment. The number of toilets in all schools was insufficient, and 47% of schools presented bathroom irregularities. The presence of flies was observed in 52%, and the accumulation of rubbish in 31% of the schools. This study demonstrates an emerging need to improve issues of water, sanitation, and hygiene in Tefé schools in order to minimize the risk of illness, which influences school routines and individual learning processes. We suggest greater investments in and care of educational institutions, stemming from both public policies and the mobilization of the local population around these issues.</p></div>