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Difficulties in Maintaining Improved Handwashing Behavior, Karachi, Pakistan.

In an earlier study in Karachi, Pakistan, households that received free soap and handwashing promotion for 9 months reported 53% less diarrhoea than controls. Eighteen months after the intervention ended, these households were enrolled in a follow-up study to assess sustainability of handwashing behaviour. Upon re-enrollment, mothers in households originally assigned to the intervention were 1.5 times more likely to have a place with soap and water to wash hands (79% versus 53%, P = 0.001) and when asked to wash hands were 2.2 times more likely to rub their hands together at least three times (50% versus 23%, P = 0.002) compared with controls. In the ensuing 14 months, former intervention households reported a similar proportion of person-days with diarrhoea (1.59% versus 1.88%, P = 0.66) as controls. Although intervention households showed better handwashing technique after 2 years without intervention, their soap purchases and diarrhoea experience was not significantly different from controls. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2009;81(1):140-5.

Author: Luby SP, Agboatwalla M, Bowen A, et al

Published: 01/07/2009

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene