Category Archives: Hygiene Promotion

Recently published handwashing studies

1 – Trop Med Int Health. 2017 Feb 28. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12861. [Epub ahead of print]

Does targeting children with hygiene promotion messages work? The effect of handwashing promotion targeted at children, on diarrhoea, soil-transmitted helminth infections and behaviour change, in low- and middle-income countries.

OBJECTIVES: To synthesise evidence on the effect of handwashing promotion interventions targeting children, on diarrhoea, soil-transmitted helminth infection and handwashing behaviour, in low and middle income country settings.

RESULTS: Eight studies were included in this review: seven cluster-randomised controlled trials and one cluster non-randomised controlled trial. All eight studies targeted children aged 5-12 attending primary school but were heterogeneous for both the type of intervention and the reported outcomes so results were synthesised qualitatively. None of the studies were of high quality and the large majority were at high risk of bias. The reported effect of child-targeted handwashing interventions on our outcomes of interest varied between studies. Of the different interventions reported, no one approach to promoting handwashing among children appeared most effective.

CONCLUSION: Our review found very few studies that evaluated handwashing interventions targeting children and all had various methodological limitations. It is plausible that interventions which succeed in changing children’s handwashing practices will lead to significant health impacts given that much of the attributable disease burden is concentrated in that age group. The current paucity of evidence in this area however does not permit any recommendations to be made as to the most effective route to increasing handwashing with soap practice among children in LMIC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

2 – Am J Infect Control. 2017 Feb 24. pii: S0196-6553(17)30041-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2017.01.018. [Epub ahead of print]

The effect of hand-hygiene interventions on infectious disease-associated absenteeism in elementary schools: A systematic literature review.

BACKGROUND: Hand-hygiene interventions are widely used in schools but their effect on reducing absenteeism is not well known.

RESULTS: Our review indicated evidence is available to show hand-hygiene interventions had an effect on reducing acute gastrointestinal illness-associated absenteeism but inadequate evidence is available to show an effect on respiratory illness-associated absenteeism.

CONCLUSIONS: The methodologic quality assessment of eligible studies revealed common design flaws, such as lack of randomization, blinding, and attrition, which must be addressed in future studies to strengthen the evidence base on the effect of hand-hygiene interventions on school absenteeism.

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Changing behaviours: there is no quick fix!

Experts come up with better ways to promote sanitation in India.

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School toilets, West Bengal, India, Photo: Stef Smits/India

India is home to the largest numbers of open defecators in the world. Over the last few decades the government has implemented national programmes, which attempted to address this complex challenge. The demand for sanitation, meaning a genuine demand for toilets and actual use, hasn’t been encouraging. In October 2014, the government launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), a national programme to eliminate open defecation by 2019. SBM has a rural (gramin) and an urban subcomponent.

Dialogue on behaviour change communication

On 23 September 2016, experts met in New Delhi to discuss how behaviour change communication (BCC) can best help to achieve India’s sanitation goals. They were invited by the India Sanitation Coalition, TARU and IRC to take part in “Insights: WASH Dialogues on Sanitation Promotion and Behavioural Science“.

When we set out to improve life for others without a fundamental understanding of their point of view and quality of experience, we do more harm than good (Lauren Reichelt, 2011)

Sector experts and experts involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in sanitation, argued that it is crucial not just to look at how behaviour change interventions work, but also to understand what doesn’t work. There is general agreement that “soft interventions” are important at the community level to ensure that toilets are not just built but also used. Despite all the investments in sanitation over the years, little has been achieved in sanitation. There seems to be a gap between the planning of behaviour change communication interventions and how they are actually implemented.

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The Role of WASH in Healthcare Settings to Reduce Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance

The Role of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare Settings to Reduce Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance. Antimicrobial Resistance Control, July 2016.

This article by USAID’s Rochelle Rainey and Merri Weinger concludes that antimicrobial resistance is a multisectoral problem that requires a comprehensive strategy, including WASH improvements, to prevent emergence and transmission.

The lack of safe water, functional toilets, and handwashing facilities in healthcare settings poses significant health risks to patients, healthcare workers and nearby communities. The ongoing global problem of health facility-acquired infections (HAI) has highlighted the consequences of the lack of water and sanitation facilities and practice of key hygiene behaviours.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a multisectoral problem that requires a comprehensive strategy, including WASH improvements, to prevent emergence and transmission. Hand hygiene has been cited as the single most important practice to reduce HAI, and improved hand hygiene practices have been associated with a sustained decrease in the incidence of antimicrobial-resistant infections in healthcare settings.

WASH also plays a role in the cleaning of surfaces and bedding for preventing transmission of HAI. Leadership and commitment is needed from governments, international and local organizations, donors and civil society to implement the global action plan to achieve universal access to WASH in healthcare facilities.

UNESCO funds Dunedin shadow puppet film in Indonesia about hygiene

Published on Jan 16, 2017
UNESCO along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are financially backing a trans-Tasman project to improve hygiene in Indonesia.

An educational film is being made in Dunedin featuring Javanese shadow puppets who tell the tale of evil bacteria.

Today some top musicians began adding the soundtrack.

 

Investigation of Rice as an Absorbent and Degradable Material for Personal Hygiene Applications

Investigation of Rice as an Absorbent and Degradable Material for Personal Hygiene Applications. SM Journal of Engineering Sciences, January 2016.

Authors: Jeffrey S Bates, Megan A Adams and Taylor D Sparks

This research explores the uses of natural materials in personal hygiene applications. In order to maximize the use of materials for personal hygiene, they must be absorbent, but should also be biodegradable to minimize their impact on the environment. Rice was prepared for testing by increase the porosity.

The material was ground into three size distributions and tested to determine its ability to absorb moisture under both ambient and body temperatures. Research goals address the percentage of moisture absorbed by weight, the absorption as a function of temperature, and the optimal particle size required for the selected application.

Results indicate that the amount of moisture absorbed by the material increases as the temperature approaches body temperature. Furthermore, the time required for the material to reach equilibrium, as also defined by the amount at which the material will no longer absorb moisture, varies by particle size.

How a Bunch of College Kids Made Two Delhi Slums Become Almost Completely Open Defecation Free

How a Bunch of College Kids Made Two Delhi Slums Become Almost Completely Open Defecation Free. The Better India, Jan 3, 2017.

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Enactus is a global non-profit organisation run by students at individual university and college levels committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world. In India, Enactus is active in more than 150 colleges and universities involving more than 4,300 students working on nearly 122 projects across the country. The SSCBS Enactus team comprises of 70 students, of which 20 are directly involved in Project Raahat.

In a bid to prevent open defecation and usher in hygiene and cleanliness among slum-dwellers of New Delhi, a group of college students have initiated a unique campaign that has brought down the open defecation rates in some slums from 95% to 3%.

Had you visited or wandered close to the slums in Sultanpuri and Kirti Nagar in New Delhi a year ago, you would have witnessed a common and appalling sight of slum-dwellers walking into open fields with a tin can to relieve themselves. You might have walked past stinky toilet complexes lying vandalized with broken, leaky walls, and pipes. But not anymore!

Thanks to a group of enterprising college students from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS), Delhi University, the open defecation rates in these slums have come down from 95% to a mere 3% in just one year.

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Household survey: hygiene and sanitation behavior as well as willingness to pay in rural Senegal

Household survey: hygiene and sanitation behavior as well as willingness to pay in rural Senegal, 2015. 

Water and Sanitation Program.

The indicators for access to drinking water in Senegal suggest that 32% of the rural population have a piped connection on their premises while 35% cover their needs from other improved sources. This means that 33% of the population still satisfies their needs from unimproved sources, including 1% from surface water (WHO/UNICEF, JMP, 2015).

Access to water is also fundamental to good hygiene behavior, notably for washing hands. However, in rural areas, dedicated hand washing stations have been observed in 24.8% of all households. Among the members of these households, only 44.6% used water and soap for hand washing; 18.7% used water only and 35.2% had neither water nor soap or any other detergent to wash their hands (EDS, 2014).

With regard to sanitation, important efforts need to be made in Senegal as in the rural area, 34% of the population have access to improved sanitation; 42% use unimproved latrines (including 8% who share latrines) and 24% practice open defecation (OD; WHO/UNICEF, JMP, 2015). Hygiene and sanitation are thus priorities for the government of Senegal, as demonstrated by the inauguration of the Programme d’Eau Potable et d’Assainissement du Millénaire (PEPAM, Millennium Drinking Water and Sanitation Program).