Doctor holding out stethescope



Background of the study

It is universally understood that the health of school children deserves special attention in order for them to derive maximum benefit from any educational programme. The child must be healthy, physical, mentally and emotionally fit. Students require energy to perform all their body activities, their energy requirement is met from the food they eat.

Adequate nutrition is a vital factor essential to the nation as well as to individuals. It is also well known that students at boarding school are exposed to a series of danger, physically, injury, infection and emotional problems. School age is a period during which the students are undergoing rapid, physical and mental development. A healthy environment is require to provide the students with the best opportunity of making the appropriate adjustment that are required during this period.

What is illness? Illness is a poor health resulting from disease of body or mind, sickness. It is a condition of being unhealthy in your body or mind, a specific condition that prevent your mind or body from working. It is a word that is used to refer to all diseases or period of sickness that has affected the body and mind. This word is also used in reference to a state of poor health or another word for ailment, malady or sickness.

Common illness among boarding school are mainly Headaches, stomache, Asthma, Diabetes, cough, fever, catarrh, stuffy nose, sore throat, earpain, chest congestion, scrabbles etc

It is a common knowledge which over considerable spread of common illness may be among the major illness suffered by many school students nowadays. These had leads to the backward of learning in school. The children suffered with this type of illness above will not be able to stay in the school regularly.

A family consisting of father, mother and children living a bedroom apartment or a hostel that consisting 12 people in a room and any of them comes in contact with any of these common illness can easily transfer it to the others. Due to the overcrowded and unclean environment they are exposed to, they become easy victim of different kinds of illness we have some areas where houses were built without enough space and of course many of these houses are poorly ventilated with poor sanitation.

Another sources of illness is bad nutrition most students are poorly fed, for example school authority do not bother to give the students cooked food which have good nutritional

In the alternative, some parents give token amount of money to their children to buy any if they are not satisfied with the one given in school. Worse still, students do not care to buy any good food rather they buy cheap foods which have no nutritional value.

Poor drainage is another factor which contributes to common illness. In some schools the housekeeper and school authority don’t even care to make the adequate provision for good drainage system. This makes the area of the school untidy and extremely dirty. These area where mosquitoes  make their breeding place and other dangerous insects that bites and causes the aforementioned common illness among school students. When mosquitoes bites them for example they cause malaria, fever, this malaria fever occur when a vector called female anopheles mosquito sucked up an infected blood from a man and the blood contain the sporozoites, this is one of the health hazards as a result of this,  students whose body have been infected from house could easily transfer it because some student will have catarrh and cough along with malaria and this can easily be transferred to another students. The third party carries it hosted for onward transmission to other person, afterwards it will then be spreading all over the area.

Apart from all these illness mentioned above every classroom, at some stage, will include a child who suffers from a chronic illness. This chronic illness could be one of many and the impact it has, in the educational sense could be slight or insignificant. The illness may has impact not only on the child involved but also on the child’s family, classmates, teacher and school most especially on learning. There are three particular chronic illness common among students.

Asthma is a chronic illness of great significant in Government College, Ikere-Ekiti. It is a condition that makes breathing difficult. The lungs produce excess amounts of mucus, there is mucosal swelling, construction of the airways, and the muscles tighten. The airways become sensitive and highly reactive to infection, exercise and triggers thing or condition that contribute to an asthma episode.

Even though it is generally believed that asthma is one of the leading causes of absenteeism from school, there are varying reports on the effect this illness has no academic performance. Bethea (1998) states that asthma often interrupts learning by distracting or keeping children away from school and that it can cause embarrassment and anxiety to the point of decreased concentration, he also believes that asthma medication can affect concentration and handwriting.

Getch and Neuharth-pritchett (1999) suggest that although these children may have a higher degree of absenteeism, their school performance does not differ significantly. They do however, acknowledge that other areas of child development may be affected “Children with asthma are more likely to have experiences with depression or withdrawal, lower self-esteem and levels of confidence and feeling of inadequacy and helpless”. {Hamlet et al 1992, Maclean et al 1992, cited in Getch and Neuharth Pritchett 1999) agreed  that there are greater risks for psychological maladjustment in children who experience symptoms of chronic physical disorders. It is important that teachers monitor evidence of these psychological effects of asthma as they may lead to learning difficulties and possibly further stress and anxiety’ which in turn may influence the frequency and severity of asthmatic episodes.

Another chronic illness found in boarding house secondary schools is diabetes. Diabetes is an auto immune illness that occurs in two forms: non insulin dependent diabetes and insulin dependent diabetes, better known as juvenile diabetes. Although students with diabetes may look or even act like other students in the classroom they have health related issues and often require modifications of their daily routine during the school day.

Diabetes can have significant effects on students in the classroom. some of these issues are the need for a specific eating regime, testing of blood sugar levels, awareness of time of day, and awareness of activity level during the day. It is believed that diabetes does not affects student’s performance in the long run but may affect learning on specific days. (Johnson et al 1992, cited in Rosen-thal-Malek and Greespan 1999). Children with diabetes do not have a higher incidence of learning problems but they may have problems with reading or writing due to blurred vision or they may be thinking about how hungry or how dizzy they are feeling (Rosen-thal-malk and Greespan, 1999).

However, reports reveal that these housing facilities, most of the time, fail to consider students safety and welfare. This is anchored on the premise that the physical and environmental components of these residential facilities could affects students holistic well-being.

Some prominent illness of social students are as follows:

  1. Malaria
  2. Catarrh
  3. Coughing
  4. Headache
  5. Stomachache
  6. Typhoid
  7. Fever
  8. Scribes
  9. Asthma
  10. Diabetes
  11. Stuffy nose
  12. Sore throat
  13. Ear pain
  14. Chest congestion

All these illnesses mentioned above cannot lead to effectiveness of learning ability, because any student found been affected by such illness will not be able to pay attention in the classroom learning situation.



Statement Of The Problems

Common illness among boarding secondary students is a very important issue to be accorded due to recognition and to the fact that the level of health of the students to learning especially those who may be infected with illness will be disabled in one area of learning or the other and it can also affect their psychological and psychomotor domain. These common illnesses pose a problem when the students get infected because they cannot bring effectiveness learning situation.


Objectives Of The Study

This study aims at investigating the factors that lead to health problems among boarding schools students considering the poor health condition of many boarding secondary schools, one wonders which of these conditions is responsible for the predicament.

This study will help to identify common illness peculiar to the children in the secondary school, known their causes, the effect, solution and prevention.

Teacher will be able to administer the necessary, prevention or caution in each causes of illness depending of the seriousness.

Significance of the study

The significance of the study is that, it help teachers to recognize the causes and effect of these common illness among boarding school students as well as how to take these diseases. It also help teacher to know how to deal or handle students so that the effective learning will not be inhibited. To know the preventive measure that we can take in preventing these illness among the boarding secondary school students


Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study aims to established the current conditions of College students in boarding house and dormitories specially, it is findings hope to formulate a specific set of guild lines on boarding houses operation and regulations in the town and school.


Research Questions

  • What are the common illness among the student in all the various schools in Ikere Local Government Area?
  • What are the preventive measures against outbreak of common illness?


This Project is is available for the below list of Nigerian State capitals.
Abia Umuahia, Adamawa Yola, Akwa Ibom Uyo, Anambra Awka, Bauchi Bauchi, Bayelsa Yenagoa, Benue Makurdi, Borno Maiduguri, Cross River Calabar, Delta Asaba, Ebonyi Abakaliki, Edo Benin. Ekiti Ado Ekiti, Enugu Enugu, Gombe Gombe, Imo Owerri, Jigawa Dutse, Kaduna Kaduna, Kano Kano, Katsina Katsina, Kebbi Birnin Kebbi, Kogi Lokoja, Kwara Ilorin, Lagos Ikeja, Nasarawa Lafia, Niger Minna, Ogun Abeokuta, Ondo Akure, Osun Oshogbo, Oyo Ibadan, Plateau Jos, Rivers Port Harcourt, Sokoto Sokoto, Taraba Jalingo, Yobe Damaturu, Zamfara Gusau, FCT Abuja.



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