Educational cartoon boosts worm infection prevention | Source: News-Medical, Apr 29, 2013 |
Researchers in China have found that a health education package targeted at schoolchildren can improve hygiene behaviors and reduce the incidence of soil-transmitted helminth infection.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, included 1718 school children aged 9 to 10 years, of whom 893 attended control schools (n=19), and 825 attended intervention schools (n=19). The research was conducted in rural Linxiang City District, Hunan province, where there is a high prevalence of helminth infection but limited awareness or educational activity about the risks.
Both control and intervention schools displayed an awareness poster. However, in the intervention schools, students also took part in an educational package, including a 12-minute cartoon promoting knowledge and prevention awareness, followed by classroom discussions. They also took part in drawing and writing competitions that reinforced the cartoon’s messages, and received a pamphlet summarizing the main points. All students received albendazole treatment at baseline.