Effect of health education on hand washing of mothers of under five children on diarrhoea episodes in a Nigerian rural community
Diarrhea is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children under five years of age in middle and low income countries. Nearly one in five child deaths is due to diarrhea and globally it accounts for 1.5million deaths annually. Although hand washing with soap is effective for the prevention of transmission of diarrhea pathogens, its practice around the world remains very low. This study seeks to demonstrate the effect of health education on hand washing of mothers of Under-five on diarrhea episodes in rural communities in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
A quasi-experimental study, with baseline, intervention, and post-intervention phases that involved 434 mothers/caregivers of children under the ages of five years (6-59 months) from both study and control communities was conducted. Systematic sampling technique was used to select the respondents. Information obtained with interviewer administered questionnaire. Data was analyzed with SPSS software and p-value was set at 95% confidence interval.
The result indicated that 41.9% of children in the study LGA had diarrhoea in the 3 months preceding the study. This reduced by 10.6% after the intervention and the reduction was statistically significant (p=0.022). There was a statistically significant association between diarrheal episodes and mother’s level of education (p=0.038).
Health education on hand washing with soap among mothers of under-five children was an effective intervention for preventing diarrhoeal disease in their children. For effective prevention of childhood diarrhoeal diseases,there is need for sustained maternal health education on hand washing with soap (HWWS) in Nigeria.
Keywords: Hand, washing, Mothers, Children, Diarrhoea
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