عنوان مقاله [English]
The importance of paying attention to mosques, as sacred places, and the emphasis of Islam on its hygiene is clear ande meeting health criteria in mosques as a public place is essential. In case of not paying enough attention to this issue, mosques can be a center from which pathogens spread and endanger health of the population. The aim of this study was to investigate the environmental health status of mosques in Ahar in 2018.
This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. All urban mosques were selected using the census method. Data were collected using a questionnaire of mosques' health regulation through visits and direct observation. The data were analyzed using Excel software.
The finding of this study indicated that Ahar's mosques in terms of personal hygiene, instruments and tools and building conditional were favorable in 34.3%, 57.1% and 80% and were undesirable in 14.3%, 8.6% and 11.4%, respectively. Overall, 80% of the mosques had a favorable status (score above 75) and only 8.6% of the mosques had an undesirable status (score below 50).
According to the obtained results, the health conditions of studied mosques were relatively desirable. It is recommended that the health status of the places, especially personal hygiene criteria improved, in cooperation with the health authorities and public participation.
Hygiene is defined as the science that prevents diseases, increases life span and improves public health in human societies. One important branch of this science is environmental hygiene which deals with developing healthy citizens and cities. Environmental health is the prevention of infection by diseases & control of environmental agents that role in the transfer & production diseases. One of the most important responsibilities of environmental health is environmental improvement & control of public places like mosques that have direct effects on people's lifestyles. Religious places, including mosques, play a substantial role in the cultural life of the people. The daily presence of people in these places, at specific intervals, and the role that these holy places play in the social interactions of people are known in Islamic countries.
Unfortunately, despite a large number of mosques and religious places throughout the country and the large presence of people in these places, the principles of hygiene in these places are still not well observed. The importance of paying attention to mosques, as sacred places, and the emphasis of Islam on its hygiene is clear. Mosques as a holy center defending the holy religion of Islam should be a good example made based on Islamic teachings which emphasize sanitation and hygiene. There are currently about 2 million mosques in the world and 72,000 mosques in Iran. In our country, as a model for the Islamic State with a population of about 80 million Muslims, attention to mosques is of particular importance. Overlooking this issue leads to the dissemination of pathogens and endangers the health of people visiting these places. Therefore, considering a large number of mosques in Iran and the health importance of these places, studying the environmental health status of the mosques is essential. Regarding the aforementioned issues and according to the research done and to the best knowledge of the authors, no study has been done on the health environmental status of mosques of Ahar. In addition, our knowledge about the health status of mosques is limited. This study was conducted to investigate the environmental health status and sanitation of Ahar mosques in 2018. Ahar is one of the most important cities of East Azerbaijan province and the center of Ahar county and Arasbaran region (Qarahdagh) and is located in the northeast of this province and is known as the largest city of Arasbaran region. Ahar with a population of 105,641 people and an area of 12.76 square kilometers is the fourth most populous city in the East Azerbaijan province after Tabriz, Maragheh and Marand.
This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. The statistical population of this descriptive study consisted of all the mosques in Ahar. All urban mosques were selected using the census method. To gather the needed data, the researchers used a questionnaire comprised of 48 variables in terms of personal health status, construction and tools and equipment hygiene.
The information of each mosque was recorded in a questionnaire and each response was allocated a percentage. Each item from the checklist was identified with one of the correct, incorrect and unobserved responses. Finally, the overall score of the mosque health index was calculated as the percentage. To be more precise, each item in the checklist was identified by three options: Compliant with Regulations (score 2), Non-Compliance with Regulations (score 1) and none of unobserved (score 0). Then, in each option, according to the related questions and items, the scores were summed and then the scores obtained were classified into three levels: favorable (good) level (scoring above 75%), intermediate level (scoring 51 to 75%) and unfavorable (poor) level (scoring less than 50%).
The information was collected through direct observation and observation using the checklist form of the mosques’ health environment regulations. After collecting hygiene information, data were entered into Excel software and analyzed using descriptive cross-sectional statistical methods.
The aim of this study was to assess the environmental health status and sanitation in mosques in Ahar, East Azerbaijan province, Iran. According to the results obtained in this study, the status of personal health indicators of mosques in 34.1% was in favorable (good) level and only in 14.3% were in level unfavorable (poor). Comparison of the results of this study with other studies in this field indicates that the personal health status of mosques in Ahar is much better than in Yazd in 2001, Zahedan in 2005 and Sabzevar in 2007. In addition, in none of the above cities, the status of personal health indicators was not in a favorable level. On the other hand, the research and study time can also be very effective in this regard, and over time, with the increase of knowledge, awareness and health culture of the people, the health status of the community was improved.
Instruments and tools conditional of the studied mosques were at a relatively favorable level.
In general, 57.1% of mosques were at a good level and only 11.4% are at a poor level. In terms of health indicators of tools and equipment, the mosques of Ahar are more desirable than the mosques of Yazd, Zahedan and Sabzevar. Regarding the status of building conditional of the studied mosques, except for the index of the presence of liquid soaps in the toilets, they were in a favorable condition, so that 80% of mosques were in good and favorable level and only 8.6% of mosques were in poor and unfavorable level. In general, 80% of mosques of Ahar have a favorable status and level (score above 75), 11.4% have a moderate status (score 51-75), and only 8.6% of mosques have an unfavorable and poor status (score less than 50).
According to the results, it is expected that more efforts will be made to increase and improve the health statues of mosques in Ahar. Due to the fact that the personal health condition in the studied mosques was relatively unfavorable and poor level so that in more than 60% of cases, the mosque staff do not have a health card and do not use robes, gloves, and masks during work. Therefore, the necessary arrangements should be made by health officials and other responsible officials in relation to holding training courses, regular and regular visits to mosques, attracting people`s participation in order to raise the level of knowledge and awareness of mosque staff in the field of personal hygiene. Also, toilets are very important for transferring diseases so continuous cleaning of the toilet, preparing soap & attention to the health of water are important indicators to prevent the transmission of diseases. In general, due to the important role of mosques in the prevalence of pathogens and endangering public health, it is expected that the Department of Environmental Health Engineering will have more and more accurate monitoring of the health status of these places. Also, the cooperation of other organizations and attract public participation improved the health status of mosques.