Hand hygiene behavior among urban slum children and their care takers in Odisha, India


Hand washing


Objective. To study the knowledge and practice of hand washing among mothers and children of shikharchandi slum of Bhubaneswar, Odisha and to recommend possible measures to improve the current practices. Methodology. Present cross-sectional study was carried out in the Shikharchandi slum located in the Bhubaneswar city of Orissa state in India. 150 women and 80 children were interviewed. Chil- dren questionnaire were prepared to suit to their age and accord- ing to local context. Components of sanitation like food handling and hand washing were covered in this questionnaire. Results. Hand washing before preparing food is being practiced by 85% of women. Of all women interviewed, 77% wash hands before serving food. Only 15% children said soap was available in their school to wash hands. Out of total children interviewed, 76% told that their teachers tell about sanitation and hand washing in the class. Only 5% children told they were consulted by doctor/health worker during last 3 months. As many as 81% children told that they wash their hands before taking food and 19% children said they take their food without washing hands. Though most of the children told that they wash hands before tak- ing food, but only 17.5% told that they use soap for hand washing. Only 29% children told that their teachers check hand washing in school. When asked about critical timing of hand washing, 44% children told about at least two critical timings and 56% were unaware about the critical timings of hand washing. Conclusion. Inadequate knowledge on this among our study par- ticipant is a point of concern. Systematic integration of health and hygiene education in schools through curricular modifications could be an appropriate strategy.


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