Knowledge, attitude and practices of households on hand hygiene in Namisindwa District
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INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Poor handwashing practices make hands a major vector aiding the transmission of most of the diseases of the oral route. About 80% of the world’s communicable diseases are transmitted by a mere touch of unhygienic hands. Handwashing with soap remains critical in the fight against infectious diseases. Uganda’s, access to handwashing with soap at household level moved to 38 percent in the FY 2019/2020 upon a 2 percentage increase from 36% in FY 2018/19. The government of Uganda launched the Uganda Sanitation Fund (USF) programme to reduce sanitation-related morbidities and mortalities through increased the development and utilization of sanitation and hygiene facilities. However the compliance to hand washing among people is very low because only 28% of the population has access to handwashing facilities, meaning most Ugandans are susceptible to sanitation related infections. OBJECTIVE: To assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of hand washing among in households in Namisindwa district in order to provide information that could be used to promote hand hygiene among children in Namisindwa district METHODOLOGY: A cross sectional study design which employed quantitative method of data collection. Data was collected using kobo collect data tool from randomly selected members of the households. The data was exported to SPSS for qualitative analysis. RESULTS: Overall, the study found a high level of knowledge towards handwashing with soap, 38% of the respondents reported to have heard about handwashing from the health extension staff, 28% heard from media, 24% of respondents received the information during the course of schooling and only 10% of the respondents heard from Parents/ Guardian. The respondents were also able to recognize the relevancy of handwashing in the disease prevention. Where by 66.3% of the respondents said yes that handwashing with soap is useful, 65.7% of the respondents said handwashing with soap was necessary Majority of the respondents demonstrated a positive attitude towards handwashing with soap. There was an association between disgust caused by knowing that human faeces transmitted disease germs and hand washing with soap. There was a negative perception towards hand washing with soap at certain critical moments due to the low perceived vulnerability to infections caused by children’s faeces. Overall, majority of the respondents reported to wash their hands frequently, Hands were most frequently washed before eating food, however, of those who frequently washed their hands; only 20.3% used soap. This is attributable to lack of awareness of the critical times for observing hand washing with soap CONCLUSION: A determination of the level of knowledge, attitude and practices on hand washing among members of households led to the conclusion that household members in the study area have sufficient knowledge, attitude but less practice handwashing.