KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES OF CHILDREN 6 TO 12 YEARS TOWARDS HAND WASHING WITH SOAP IN NEBBI MUNICIPALITY, NEBBI DISTRICT
Okello, Akim Jude
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Introduction: Diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections are responsible for 35% and 32% of child deaths respectively and washing hands with soap reduces the risk of acute gastrointestinal disease and respiratory illness by 31% and 21% respectively. Nebbi district has a high prevalence of diarrhoeal disease with a prevalence of handwashing with soap of just 30%. However, there is no proper documentation of the attitudes, practices and knowledge of children 6 to 12 years regarding hand washing with soap in this municipality. Objectives: The broad objective of the study was to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices of children 6 to 12 years towards handwashing with soap in Nebbi Municipality, Nebbi District so as to inform policy makers on appropriate actions to reduce the burden of diseases due to low or no hand washing with soap. Specific objectives were to assess the level of knowledge of the children towards hand washing with soap, to determine the attitudes of the children towards hand washing with soap and to establish the practices of the children regarding hand washing with soap. Methodology: A cross sectional study design employing quantitative method of data collection was used. Data was collected from 320 randomly sampled children, one from each selected household in Nebbi Municipality, Nebbi District. A quantitative data was electronically collected using EPICOLLECT 5 and analysed using STATA version 14. Bivariate analysis was used to assess the association between the independent and outcome variables. Results: More than half of the respondents were male 167 (52.2%), majority 280 (87.5%) were in school, respondents who heard of hand washing with soap were more likely to wash their hands with soap (COR=7.45, C.I=3.98-13.94, P-value=0.00). whereas over 275 (85%) reported to have washed their hands, only 72 (22.5%) used soap. Only 124 (38.7%) respondents had a functional hand washing station. Respondents who did not have any reason to wash their hands were less likely to wash their hands with soap (COR=0.04, C.I=0.00-0.38, P-value=0.00). Conclusion: Although the study revealed a considerably good hand washing practice among the children, however, the use of soap during the hand washing was still found very low. This calls for a massive sensitization of the general public specifically the children aged 6 – 12 years on hand washing with soap at critical times.