A study on Hand washing practices among mothers of under-five children in urban slums
Introduction: Evidence suggests that improved hand washing can have a major impact on public health and significantly reduce diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection-the two leading causes of childhood mortality. Understanding the hand washing practices of mothers residing in poor environmental settings such as urban slums is essential for planning any health education intervention.
Materials and Method: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive type carried out among 250 mothers of under- five children residing in five urban slums at Coimbatore. Demographic data and information on hand washing at different times were recorded.
Results: Overall 67.2% of the study group practiced hand washing with soap at critical times, whereas at other instances(after touching pet animals or toys, after changing child’s diaper, after coughing or sneezing) the level was below 50%. The age of mother, literacy status and joint family was significantly associated with good practices(P<0.05).
Conclusion: The study highlights the need for improving the hand washing practice by continuous and intensive health education programmes targeting the mothers which in turn will have a positive impact on the health of their children.
Keywords: Hand washing, Practices, Mothers, Under-five, Urban slum