Handwashing knowledge, attitudes and practices in Ghana


Handwashing, Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices, Ghana, Handwashing facilities


Introduction. Handwashing has been recognised as a convenient, effective, and cost-effective means of preventing communicable diseases. However, many people overlook the importance of handwashing when engaging in activities that require handwashing due to various factors. The objectives of this study were to assess the level of handwashing knowledge, attitudes and practices and determine their relationships and how they are affected by sex, educational background and age.

Methods. A survey was conducted among a cross-section of the population in Ghana using an online questionnaire disseminated via platforms such as WhatsApp, email, Facebook and LinkedIn. Respondents were presented with several statements to assess their handwashing knowledge, attitudes and practices. 

Results. Overall, 82.2% of respondents had good knowledge, 91% had a positive attitude, while 48.4% adhered to good handwashing practices. Having a high school level of education (OR=0.193, p=0.034.), (OR=0.145, p=0.000) and (OR=0.448, p=0.049) decreased the likelihood of having good knowledge, positive attitudes and good practices than in persons with tertiary level education. Predictors of good handwashing practices were knowledge (OR=1.059, p=0.37) and attitude (OR=1.095, p=0.000). These results suggest that having a higher level of education could increase a person’s knowledge and attitude, which in turn enhances the likelihood that the person would adhere to most handwashing and hand hygiene practices.

Conclusion. Enhancing people’s handwashing practices requires positive attitudes and good knowledge about handwashing. These need to be complemented by enhanced access to handwashing facilities and innovative measures to enforce and encourage compliance.



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