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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases