Hand washing practices amongst mothers of under-fives in an urban slum

Sana Quazi, Satish Kishanrao Wadde, Ajit Shripal Nagaonkar


Background: Hand washing with soap is a cost-effective tool of disease prevention, but most of the time it is overlooked. Use of contaminated hands enhances transmission of germs into body causing ill-health. Mothers clean, prepare, serve and feed the food. If this is coupled with poor knowledge and practice of hand washing it increases risk to spread of diseases to self, other family members especially to under-fives. Present study was conducted to address this issue being a critical factor in disease prevention. The objective of the present study was to determine the knowledge and practices of hand washing amongst mothers of under-fives.

Methods: Present cross sectional study was conducted at UHTC, field practice area of Community Medicine, GMC, Latur amongst mothers of under-fives visiting UHTC to avail health services. The data was collected in a predesigned, pretested questionnaire by interviewing them.

Results: Out of 204 mothers, 38.24% were from the age group of 24-26 and majority i.e., 69.61% were housewives. 99.02% mothers were aware that unwashed hands can transmit the diseases. Most of the mothers told that clean hands reduces food and water contamination. Maximum i.e., 97.57% mothers washed hands before eating and 71.57% washed before cooking. All the mothers washed hands after visiting toilet. Most mothers used soap and water (85.3%) for hand washing. Significant numbers of mothers, under-fives and other members suffered from diarrhea in last six months (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Hand washing practices need to be followed at all critical moments for prevention of the faeco-oral infections.


Hand washing, Mothers of under-fives, Practices

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