2008 Review of Handwashing for the Prevention of Diarrhoea

The Cochrane Collaboration has published, Hand washing for preventing diarrhoea (Review), by Ejemot RI, Ehiri JE, Meremikwu MM, Critchley JA.

This is a reprint of a Cochrane review, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration and published in The Cochrane Library, 2008, Issue 1

Background – Diarrhoea is a common cause of morbidity and a leading cause of death among children aged less than five years, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. It is transmitted by ingesting contaminated food or drink, by direct person-to-person contact, or from contaminated hands. Hand washing is one of a range of hygiene promotion interventions that can interrupt the transmission of diarrhoea-causing pathogens.

Objectives – To evaluate the effects of interventions to promote hand washing on diarrhoeal episodes in children and adults.

Main results – Fourteen randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria. Eight trials were institution-based, five were community-based, and one was in a high-risk group (AIDS patients). Interventions promoting hand washing resulted in a 29%reduction in diarrhoea episodes in institutions in high-income countries (IRR 0.71, 95%CI 0.60 to 0.84; 7 trials) and a 31%reduction in such episodes in communities in low- or middle-income countries (IRR 0.69, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.87; 5 trials).

Authors’ conclusions – Hand washing can reduce diarrhoea episodes by about 30%. This significant reduction is comparable to the effect of providing clean water in low-income areas.However, trials with longer follow up and that test differentmethods of promoting hand washing are needed.

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2 responses to “2008 Review of Handwashing for the Prevention of Diarrhoea

  1. Pingback: 2008 Review of Handwashing for the Prevention of Diarrhoea | STBM -- Sanitasi Total Berbasis Masyarakat

  2. Pingback: 2008 Review of Handwashing for the Prevention of Diarrhoea | STBM Indonesia

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