Enhancing personal hygiene behavior and competency of elementary school adolescents through peer-led approach and school-friendly: a quasi-experimental study
Background: Recent studies showed that poor personal hygiene practices play a major role in the increment of communicable disease burden in developing countries. In Ethiopia, 60% of the disease burden is related to poor sanitation practices. This school based study was aimed to assess the effectiveness of school-friendly and peer-led approach in improving personal hygiene practices of school adolescents in Jimma Zone, Southwest of Ethiopia.
Methods: A total of 1000 students from 10 to 19 years were included into the study. The intervention was done using peer-led approach, health clubs and linking the school events with parents. Data were collected at baseline, midline and end-line using structured questionnaires. Repeated measurement analysis was done and statistical significance was considered at alpha 0.05.
Results: The findings of this study indicated that there was a significant difference in personal hygiene practices and knowledge between the intervention and control groups (P<0.001). A significant difference was also observed with the duration of time in the intervention schools (P<0.05). The proportion of adolescents who reported illness before the baseline survey was significantly high among the intervention schools (P<0.01). However, at midline of the survey, the proportion of self-reported illness was significantly high among the control group(P<0.001).
Conclusion: The findings of this study showed that there was a significant improvement in personal hygiene knowledge and practice of students in the intervention schools. Therefore, there is a need for proper health education intervention through the framework of schools for the students to improve their personal hygiene knowledge and practices.
Keywords: Hygiene, School, Knowledge, Attitude, Jimma