Environmental Change

Initiative Description: Schools with increased rates of HIV and child mortality as compared to other parts of Kenya were provided with handwashing and drinking water stations, bleach for water treatment, soap for handwashing, and educational materials. The study consisted of 3 data collection components: 1) an observational field study of handwashing practices of students during breaks between classes on 3 different occasions, 2) a self-administered questionnaire given to all teachers and 3) 6 focus group discussions conducted with 44 teachers in a stratified random sample of 6 schools, 3 designated as high-trained (>50% of teachers trained in handwashing) and 3 as low-trained (<50% of teachers trained in handwashing). At each school, the headmaster and a second teacher were selected to participate in a full-day workshop focusing drinking water treatment and handwashing education, installation and use of handwashing and water stations, and treatment of drinking water.

Study Results: 49% of teachers reported that handwashing and drinking water practices decreased absenteeism and reduced respiratory infections.

Reference: La Con et al. (2016) Evaluation of Student Handwashing Practices During a School-Based Hygiene Program in Rural Western Kenya, 2007. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 37(2):121-129

Level of Evidence: 1 out of 5 stars Fair