The campaign for improved hygiene is increasingly threatened as people’s existing knowledge and practice seem not to promote proper hygiene practices. Environmental hygiene has become a problem to the extent that it has engaged the attention of authorities as well as concerned citizens. As a result, over the years Ilorin failed to achieve her set hygiene target. One area that has suffered from this problem is the market places. The study sought to find out the knowledge level, attitudes and practices of market traders toward hygiene since it could significantly affect their health, economic, social and physical environment. Towards these ends, the study explored knowledge with regard to educational level and age of market traders about hygiene, attitudes towards hygiene and practices that ensure proper hygiene.
A sample of 168 respondents was selected for the study. Two interview guides, proportional probability and convenience sampling techniques and focus group discussion were the instruments and the procedures employed to collect data from respondents. Methodology adopted to address the objectives of the study was Ilorin Markets. A proportional probability was used to sample 133 sellers; convenience sampling technique was used to select 23 buyers and focus group discussion used to gather data from 12 sellers.
The study concluded that most of the market traders have inadequate education on good hygiene and basic hygiene promoting practices. As a result they do not see the issue of improved hygiene as a current priority; hence, they failed to change their lifestyle which could lead them to practice proper hygiene. They also see hygiene as an issue to be addressed by authorities hence failed to maintain proper hygiene. Recommendations made included the need for the Ilorin residents and local government to liaise with adult education institutions to inform market traders about proper hygiene. Waste management and hygiene be put under the Ministry of Health so that a close eye would be kept on it by experts. There should be adequate provision of waste collection bins and timely evacuating of waste to deal with the threat of spill over at collection centres. The public should be involved in policy making decision about hygiene, and also a system should be put in place (courts) to deter people who try to sabotage the drive for improved hygiene.
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