Student Dissertation

Agency : WASH; Water, Sanitation Hygiene; Children; Critical Moments; Diarrhoea; Hand Washing

Background : “Hand washing is viewed as most cost-effective intervention for reducing global infections like diarrhoea, acute respiratory tract infections. According to WHO estimates, 3.8 million children aged less than five die each year from diarrhoea and ARI. WHO defines hand washing as washing hands thoroughly following the five critical moments i.e. after defecation, after cleaning child’s bottom who had defecated, before cooking, eating and feeding child. Objectives of the study were to study the socio-demographic profile of mothers, to study the hand washing knowledge and practices among mothers having children under 2 years of age and factors influencing them and to impart knowledge about the importance of hand washing.”

Methodology : “A community based descriptive cross-sectional study was undertaken on mothers purposive selected in Porbandar district. A total of 100 mothers were interviewed using a pre-designed semi-structured questionnaire. The data was analyzed using Microsoft excel and graphs were used for further explanation of study.”

Findings : “Mothers who washed their hands with water after defecation (100%) and after cleaning child’s bottom (100%) before cooking (62%), before eating (89%) and before feeding the child (56%). The women who didn’t wash their hands properly (used only water) after defecation (20.7%) and before cooking (38%) and before feeding the child (44%) cited the absence of hand washing at the designated site of hand washing as the reason for not doing so. 78% have told that safe water is important in prevention of diseases and they are using any one method to make water safe for using.”

Recommendations :“The study shows hand washing after critical moments is critically low. It can be suggested that interventions by educating target and increase in hand washing practices. Innovative social marketing approaches may help in adoption of proper hand washing behavior.”