Observed practices and perceived advantages of different hand cleansing agents in rural Bangladesh: Ash, soil, and soap

Fosiul A. Nizame, Sharifa Nasreen, Amal K. Halder, Shaila Arman, Peter John Winch, Leanne Unicomb, Stephen P. Luby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Bangladeshi communities have historically used ash and soil as handwashing agents. A structured observation study and qualitative interviews on the use of ash/soil and soap as handwashing agents were conducted in rural Bangladesh to help develop a handwashing promotion intervention. The observations were conducted among 1,000 randomly selected households from 36 districts. Fieldworkers observed people using ash/soil to wash their hand(s) on 13% of occasions after defecation and on 10% after cleaning a child's anus. This compares with 19% of people who used soap after defecation and 27% after cleaning a child who defecated. Using ash/soil or soap was rarely (<1%) observed at other times recommended for handwashing. The qualitative study enrolled 24 households from three observation villages, where high usage of ash/soil for handwashing was detected. Most informants reported that ash/soil was used only for handwashing after fecal contact, and that ash/soil could clean hands as effectively as soap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1116
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume92
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

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Soaps
Bangladesh
Hand Disinfection
Detergents
Soil
Hand
Defecation
Observation
Anal Canal
Health Personnel
Interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

Cite this

Observed practices and perceived advantages of different hand cleansing agents in rural Bangladesh : Ash, soil, and soap. / Nizame, Fosiul A.; Nasreen, Sharifa; Halder, Amal K.; Arman, Shaila; Winch, Peter John; Unicomb, Leanne; Luby, Stephen P.

In: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol. 92, No. 6, 01.06.2015, p. 1111-1116.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nizame, Fosiul A. ; Nasreen, Sharifa ; Halder, Amal K. ; Arman, Shaila ; Winch, Peter John ; Unicomb, Leanne ; Luby, Stephen P. / Observed practices and perceived advantages of different hand cleansing agents in rural Bangladesh : Ash, soil, and soap. In: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2015 ; Vol. 92, No. 6. pp. 1111-1116.
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