Study reveals impact of combined water and sanitation interventions in rural Bangladesh | Source: ICDDRB, Jan 25, 2013
A study by icddr,b researchers has demonstrated how combined water and sanitation interventions can significantly improve basic hygiene practices in rural communities. This and other encouraging findings were shared during a seminar organised by icddr,b on Thursday, 24th January 2013 in the Sasakawa Auditorium.
Findings of the pilot study carried out in low income communities in central Bangladesh, where handwashing with soap and treating drinking water were not commonly practiced, show that hand washing with soap jumped from 17 to 75% after rural communities received a combination of health messages and tailor-made hardware.
Some of the specially built products distributed amongst the target groups were handwashing stations (large plastic containers with a tap), which they could use to store clean water and soap, enabling them to wash hands, custom built hoes to remove human and animal waste, potties for children, and products such as soapy water made with detergent and chlorine tablets.
Linking behaviour change to improved hygiene
Behavioural change communication was a key strategy of the pilot study, and demonstrated how an effective combination of activities, supporting materials and trained and motivated promoters can change people’s behaviour and eventually people’s lives. Young children and their mothers were the primary target audience during this trial, followed by fathers and caregivers of young children and then neighbouring households in the same compound and the larger community.