PCD representatives and schoolchildren in Kakuma Refugee Camp.jpgTo improve the health, nutrition and development of schoolchildren in and around Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp, Imperial College London’s Partnership for Child Development​ have begun assessing children’s handwashing behavior, parasitic worm prevalence, and nutritional and vision status​. 
From October 16 – November 7 last year, PCD in collaboration with Kenya's Medical Research Institute and other partners collected data across 30 schools specifically on: 
  • School level water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assessment and related attitudes and behaviors 
  • Neglected Tropical Disease (NTDs) prevelance of, trachoma, soil transmitted helminths, schisotosomiasis and malaria​ using samples collected from 2,085 schoolchildren
  • Visual and eye abnormalities
  • Wasting, stunting and underweight status of children,
  • Eating behaviors, hygiene habits and dietary intake carried out by interviews with over 300 mothers or guardians
Information gathered from the camp is being used to inform the government and key partners operating in the camp - the World Food Programme and the United Nations High Commission on Refugees on what areas on challenges and areas of focus to improve the children's health and development in the best way possible. 
In addition to this, PCD are using the data findings to create behavioural changing materials such as posters, teacher manuals and radio jingles to help teach children good WASH practices, how to reduce and prevent the spread of NTDs and what are the best available foods. All of which will help to improve children's as well as their families health and nutrition.  
Initial findings showed:
  • Most schools had access to a water supply, but it was insufficient in terms of quantity  
  • All schools have sanitation access, but this is not always used  
  • Most of the schools never arrange for latrine pits or septic tanks to be emptied, and half of schools had at least one overflowing latrine. 


  • 66.3% of all boys surveyed were malnourished ​
  • Children between 5 and 17 years old had severe acute under nutrition and 78.5% had moderate acute under nutrition
  • Chronic malnutrition was suggested as stunting of 10.4 (where 8.4 suggested schoolchildren were moderately stunted) 
  • Mothers and guardians interviewed showed very little awareness of food fortification and knowledge on food vitamins. 
Helminth Infections 
  • Common NTDs such as schistosomiasis were rare, but trachoma - which commonly causes blindness if not treated was high in prevalence affecting 19% of students 
  • 22% of children were anaemic, showing a strong correlation to malaria infection