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Hand hygiene knowledge and practice among university students: evidence from Private Universities of Bangladesh

Authors Sultana M, Alam Mahumud R, Razzaque Sarker A, Mahmud Hossain S

Received 14 October 2015

Accepted for publication 15 December 2015

Published 12 February 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 13—20

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S98311

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Mary Schmeida

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Frank Papatheofanis

Marufa Sultana,1 Rashidul Alam Mahumud,1 Abdur Razzaque Sarker,1 Sarder Mahmud Hossain,2

1Health Economics and Financing Research Group, Centre for Equity and Health System (CEHS), International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, 2Department of Public Health, Northern University Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Abstract: Hand hygiene has achieved the reputation of being a convenient means of preventing communicable diseases. Although causal links between hand hygiene and rates of infectious disease have also been established earlier, studies focusing on hand hygiene among university-going students are not adequate in number. This study evaluated handwashing knowledge, practice, and other related factors among the selected university students in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 undergraduate students from four selected universities. A pretested, semistructured questionnaire, that included a checklist associated with handwashing practice, was applied to capture all relevant data. The mean (± SD) age of the participants was 20.4 (±1.8) years. The majority of the students washed their hands with water, but only 22.5% washed their hands effectively by maintaining the correct steps and frequency of handwashing with water, and soap or hand sanitizer. The mean (± SD) score of the participants’ hand hygiene practice was 50.81 (±4.79), while the total score with all perfect answers was considered as 66. Regression coefficient demonstrated that age has a negative influence on hand hygiene practice, as older students have lower scores compared to the younger ones (P<0.01). However, the unmarried students were a significant predictor for influencing the incensement of handwashing practice compared to the married ones (P<0.01). Findings of this study designate widespread insufficient hand hygiene practice in the university-going students and indicate a need for an extensive public health education program on this topic. Furthermore, availability of soap and sufficient water supply is needed within the university setting to facilitate handwashing. Therefore, supporting quantity and quality of available campus-based public health education programs along with providing health-washing equipment is suggested.

Keywords: hand hygiene, hand washing, practice, university students

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