This study was carried out to survey the knowledge of primary school pupils on communicable diseases in Kwara State. Two hundred respondents got through the use of purposive random sampling technique were selected from four schools that formed the research population. The instrument used to obtain information for the research was structured questionnaire, while frequency and percentage were used in the analysis. 

Results showed that pupils knew hat communicable diseases were and the causes but many didn’t know the control measures of these diseases. 

Among the recommendations given was that more efforts should be made at this background level of education to bring awareness to pupils on ways to control these diseases.











Background to the Study 1

Statement of the Study 4

Purpose of the Study 5

General Questions 6

Research Questions 6

Significance of the Study 7

Delimitation of the Study 8

Definition of Terms 9


Meaning of Communicable/Infectious Diseases 13

School Problem 17 

Classification of Disease Pathogens 17

How to find out an Infectious Disease 20

Types/Classification of Communicable Diseases 

according to Causative Agents And mode of Spread 21

Selected Infectious Diseases 22

Transmission of Infectious Diseases 25

Preventing Transmission of Communicable Diseases 31

Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases 33 

Symptoms of Communicable Diseases 34

Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases 35

Summary of Literature Review 46


Research Design 50

Population 51

Sample and Sampling Techniques 51

Research Instrument 51

Validity of the instrument 52

Reliability of the instrument 53

Administration of the Instrument 53 

Data Analysis 53


Discussion 63



Summary 65

Conclusion 66 

Implication of the Study 67

Recommendations 67

Limitations of the Study 68

Suggestions for further Studies 69

References 70

Appendix 72 


Table 1: Social-Economic Background of 

Respondents 55

Table 2: Knowledge of Health Science 57

Table 3: Pupils’ knowledge of communicable 

Diseases 58

Table 4: Pupils’ knowledge of causes of communicable 

Diseases 58

Table 5: Knowledge of pupils about symptoms of 

communicable diseases 59

Table 6: Knowledge of control of communicable 

disease 60

Table 7: Ranking of respondents in accordance to 

what they know about communicable 

diseases 62


Figure 1: Bar Chart showing various levels of public 

knowledge towards communicable 

diseases 61



Background to the study 

The fundamental care that a child requires is the same in all countries of the world. Every child requires to be born all nurtured in a clean and healthy environment as the child subsequently feeds and carries out other activities. The home should provide warmth, love and protection from injury, with every opportunity to learn and grow in a clean and healthy environment. According to Mcseer (2000), the rights of every child should be respected according to the widely accepted convention including the rights to protection from injury and prevention and treatment of illnesses. 

In less developed countries like Nigeria, the basic care is important, in that it may well be the only health care the child will ever receive in a country with scarce resources. Under these circumstances the rearing skills of the mother are of primary importance. Her ability to be the principal primary health-care provider requires knowledge of what is good health and able to learn and provide appropriate health care for the child. Obviously a mother’s health and education are of vital importance to a child’s well-being in any country of the world, but under conditions of poverty, they may mean the difference between life and death for the child. 

It is a disturbing fact that the death of a child is not regarded as being of the same importance as the death of an adult. In a way, this is strange because the child’s life holds such importance, perhaps he or she may become a genius Doctor, or even a head of state. At least he has years of productivity before him. Children are said to be a nation’s greatest asset, though the potential is still in the future. At the moment, the child is just another mouth to feed, a nuisance to be worried over. 

And so all down the ages, while often paying lip-service to the needs of children, society has infact relegated them to the lowest place. 

Every human being at sometime in life suffers illness caused by infection. Infections which can be passed from person to person are referred to as communicable diseases. Children in primary school in underdeveloped countries are exposed to unhygienic environment and as such are highly exposed to infectious diseases. This makes it worthwhile to study communicable diseases. Whenever any part of the body suffers, every other part of the body will be affected. When it happens this way, the pupils concerned will be hindered from attending school and if they do, they might not be able to concentrate in their studies. Hence the statement is true that it is a sound body that harbours a sound mind. 

Statement of the Problem  

Communicable diseases among the primary school children are worthy of knowledge considering the environmental hazards that they are exposed to both in their various homes and schools. Ill health is one major barrier that hinders the pupils from attending schools regularly or having full concentration on their studies. Whenever any part of the body suffers, the whole system of the body will be affected including the intellect. Therefore in the case of the primary school pupils the teaching-learning process will breakdown whenever a child is unsound in health. It is for this reason that all concerned parties must put hands on deck to ensure that as much as possible, school children are in sound health always and in particular free from communicable diseases. 

Purpose of the Study 

The main purpose of the study is to survey the primary school pupils’ knowledge of communicable diseases in Kwara State. According to Anne (1980), most primary school pupils have environmental problems. These problems include, poor water supply, poor method of sewage disposal, inadequate health services and poor personal hygiene of the pupils both at home and in the school. The children play together, eat and drink together with the same utensils. They also breathe the same air in crowded and poorly ventilated classroom, and sleep in the same room in most cases. All these can be attributed as the basis for communicable diseases. 

The researcher therefore intends to find out whether the children have knowledge about communicable diseases as well as the symptoms of some common ones. 

General Questions

(i) What is the place of good health in education? 

(ii) Should health education be made compulsory in the primary school? 

(iii) What are communicable diseases? 

(iv) What role should the Government play in the treatment and control of communicable diseases?

Research Questions

In view of the research problems the researcher sets out to provide answers to these research questions. 

a. Do primary school pupils have understanding of communicable diseases? 

b. Do primary school pupils have the knowledge of the causes of communicable diseases? 

c. Do primary school pupils have knowledge of the symptoms of communicable diseases? 

d. Do primary school pupils have the knowledge of the types of communicable diseases? 

e. Do primary school pupils have the knowledge of the prevention and control measures of communicable diseases? 

Significance of the Study

The findings from this study will provide useful information to the pupils, teachers and parents on communicable diseases. This research study will also educate the pupils, teachers and parents on the need to keep an environment that promotes healthy living. A sound knowledge of environmental sanitation as well as personal health will reduce the occurrence and incidence of infectious diseases. 

By these studies pupils will be enlightened on the causes, symptoms, treatment and control of communicable diseases. 

The research will assist the authority and management of the schools to design appropriate strategies that will promote pupils’ knowledge of communicable diseases and health education in general. 

Government, shall also be advised to pay more attention to the health of the pupils by supplying adequate facilities and health personnel. 

Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to Ilorin municipal, and some surrounding villages due to financial reasons. For the same reasons too, it was not possible to cover the whole primary schools in Ilorin. 

Non-the-less, the number of schools chosen as sample was sufficiently representative to be able to draw reasonable conclusions. 

Definition of Terms

The terms below are given operational definitions as follows: 

Health: The condition of being sound in body, mind and spirit, especially freedom from diseases. 

Disease: An abnormal bodily condition of a living animal or plant that interferes with functioning and can usually be recognized by signs and symptoms. Diseases can also be defined as disorder of the body when the body is not at ease. 

Communicable disease: Is an illness to a specific infection agent or its toxic products from reservoir to susceptible host either directly as from an infected person or animal of indirectly through the agency of an intermediate plant or animal. 

Host:  A vector or an inanimate environment. 

Contact: A situation in which a person is exposed to a contagious disease. 

Hygiene: A science of the establishment and maintenance of health. It is the conditions and practices conducive to health.  

Survey: Examining the condition of certain things or a general look at or examination of something. 

Infection: The state produced by the establishment of an infective agent in or on a suitable host. It is the successful invation of the body of pathogen, micro organism under condition which permits them to multiply and harm the body. 

Health service: Professional assistance or measure given by health personnel to improve the health of the populace.

Droplet infection: A term to portray the diseases germs which are spread by some of the liquid living the air passage which is blown out as a fine spray of tiny drops of mucous and saliva which hang in the air and often contacted by healthy persons when they breathe in the infected droplets. 

Primary School: In many, countries including Nigeria, Great Britain and France Cecole Priamire. It denotes only the first years of elementary education specifically kindergarten and other elementary grades. 




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