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Abstract

Infectious diseases are a leading cause of death for children from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), often due to inadequate hand-hygiene. This study evaluates culturally relevant educational resources as a vehicle to disseminate the importance of handwashing amongst children in India. Employing a participatory action research (PAR) model and mixed methods, this follow-up longitudinal study evaluates a set of innovate educational handwashing resources and workshops specifically co-created for use in the State of Gujarat, and how they aid teachers in the teaching of hand-hygiene over a 3 year period. Working alongside local NGOs on-the-ground, teacher questionnaires (=58) and focus groups including a brief questionnaire with teachers (=35) were conducted to assess the impact of trainer workshops. In addition, pre- and post-workshop worksheets were conducted with children (=98). Percentage change was calculated between children’s pre-and post-worksheet scores and a cumulative frequency of responses to each questionnaire criterion was measured. Data from the focus group found that the resources had been used in over 200 schools by more than 5000 children. In addition, 92.28 % of teachers said they would use the resources within their classrooms in India, with 58.16 % of pupils having an increased understanding of germs/handwashing directly after the workshop. Teachers reported that they are able to teach microbiology and handwashing more effectively. Furthermore, following a focus group, 100 % of teachers noted a reduction in childhood vomiting and diarrhoeal illnesses linked with insufficient hand-hygiene across 46 schools in the State of Gujarat since using the Germ’s Journey resources.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • De Montfort University
    • Principle Award Recipient: NotApplicable
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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/content/journal/acmi/10.1099/acmi.0.000677.v3
2024-01-17
2024-07-15
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