Handwashing before food preparation and child feeding: A missed opportunity for hygiene promotion

Fosiul A. Nizame, Leanne Unicomb, Tina Sanghvi, Sumitro Roy, Md Nuruzzaman, Probir K. Ghosh, Peter J. Winch, Stephen P. Luby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Enteric diseases are often caused by poor hygiene and can contribute to stunting. From 50 randomly selected villages in Bangladesh, we collected quantitative and qualitative data on handwashing linked to child feeding to integrate handwashing promotion into a young child complementary feeding program. Most participants stated that the community knew the importance of handwashing with soap before food preparation and feeding a child, but had not developed the habit. We observed no handwashing with soap at these key times; sometimes hands were rinsed with water only. Most participants cited the unavailability of soap and water near the cooking place as a barrier to handwashing before food preparation. Most caregivers ranked nurturing messages as the best motivator to encourage handwashing with soap. An integrated intervention should include having soap and water available near the food preparation area and should use nurturing themes to encourage habitual handwashing with soap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1179-1185
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume89
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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