Hand Washing – its Awareness and Practices Among School Children and Facilities Available in Rural Government Schools of District Rohtak, Haryana
Keywords:Hand washing, Infection, mid-day meal, school
Introduction: Hand washing with soap (HWWS) is one of the single most cost-effective public health interventions. HWWS is effective in reducing diarrhea and can reduce its risk up to 48% and acute respiratory infections by more than 20%. Government of India launched Swachh Bharat Swachh Vidyalaya program, which also provided guidelines for hand washing i.e., availability of soap at hand washing stations, hand washing to be done before mid-day meal and also after use of toilet or urinal. The objective of the study was to assess knowledge and practices of hand washing among school children along with adequacy of available hand washing facilities and contributors responsible for it.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in all Government schools of Lakhan Majra block, Rohtak, Haryana, India. Thirty-Eight schools for provision of facilities and 613 students for assessing knowledge, practice and behavior change were included in the study employing stratified random sampling technique. Semi-structured interview schedule was used for data collection.
Results: All schools had hand washing facilities. Soap was available in 63.2% and 97.2% students knew benefits of hand washing while 88.9% of them were promoting it also. Less than one fifth of the students could demonstrate the correct steps of hand washing.
Conclusions: Majority of students were aware of washing hands before and after critical times. Soap availability in schools was inadequate
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