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Impact of health education on knowledge, attitude and practices regarding hand-hygiene amongst school children aged 10-12 years in Pune: An interventional study

1 MBBS, Sr Manager, Plum Health, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 GSO1 Med (ESM), Army HQ, New Delhi, India
3 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India
4 Scientist 'E', ICMR, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Swati Bajaj,
Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune - 411040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_81_22

Background: Hand hygiene in school children is a widely recognized low-cost effective intervention for the prevention and control of many infectious diseases. Health and hygiene education in schools is now a part of the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” and is being implemented across most schools in India. Objectives: This study was carried out to assess the impact of intervention in the form of a health education package on change in knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) regarding hand hygiene among school children. Methodology: A prepost interventional study was carried out in a school located in an urban area of Pune, Maharashtra, to evaluate the effectiveness of health education intervention on KAP regarding hand hygiene among school children. A total of 115 children in the age group 10–12 years were included in the study. The baseline KAP was measured using a pretested validated questionnaire followed by intervention in the form of health education through health talks, interactive sessions, videos, and demonstrations. Postintervention assessment of KAP was done using the same questionnaire. Results: The mean age (± Standard Deviation) of the study participants was 11.2 (±-0.712) years. Boys comprised 65.2% of the study population and the remaining 34.8% were girls. The baseline survey showed that only 3.5% of school children were aware of the correct method of handwashing which improved significantly to 91% postintervention. None of the children knew the names of the diseases prevented by handwashing preintervention. This changed postintervention, where 27.8% said it prevents diarrheal diseases, 20.0% said it prevents common cold, and 52.2% said it prevents both. The practices regarding handwashing before eating meals at home, after using toilet facility, after coughing/sneezing, and after playing outside improved significantly postintervention. Conclusion: Health education is an effective intervention to improve hand-washing practices among school children and bring about behavioral change for disease prevention.

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