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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 126-130

Hand washing practices in two communities of two states of Eastern India: An intervention study


1 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, KPC Medical College, Kolkata, India
2 Asst. Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Tadong, Gangtok, India
3 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, KPC Medical College, Kolkata, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandip Kumar Ray
Department of Community Medicine, KPC Medical College, Kolkata
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.75734

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Background : Public health importance of hand washing as well as its importance in reduction of communicable diseases such as diarrhea and acute respiratory infections have been highlighted in many studies worldwide. Objective: This study was designed to study the hand washing practices followed in two urban slums as well as to assess and compare the status of different components of hand washing at the pre- and post-intervention phases. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional intervention study on hand washing practices was carried out at two urban slums situated in two states of Eastern India with similar sociocultural and linguistic background. The study was carried out by using an interview technique as well as observation of hand washing practices. Interpersonal communication for behavioural change was chosen as a method of intervention. Results: The majority (>90%) practiced hand washing after defecation in both the study areas. However, hand washing following all six steps and for stipulated time period was seen to be poor before intervention. Significant improvement was observed in all the aspects of hand washing after intervention in both the areas. The poor practice of hand washing was observed in some situations and needed attention. Use of soap and clean material for drying hands after hand washing was poor initially followed by improvement after intervention. Conclusion: Based on the findings of the study, it could be suggested that Behaviour Change Communication program should be further planned with emphasis on different components of hand washing with a final objective to bring down the incidence of target diseases.


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