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Mother’s Handwashing Practices and Health Outcomes of Under-Five Children in Northwest Ethiopia

Authors Taddese AA, Dagnew B, Dagne H, Andualem Z

Received 13 November 2019

Accepted for publication 16 January 2020

Published 11 March 2020 Volume 2020:11 Pages 101—108


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Roosy Aulakh

Asefa Adimasu Taddese, 1 Baye Dagnew, 2 Henok Dagne, 3 Zewudu Andualem 3

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 2Department of Human Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Gondar, Gonder, Ethiopia; 3Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Asefa Adimasu Taddese

Background: Improving handwashing practices of mothers is important in developing countries to reduce child morbidity, mortality, and hygiene-related illnesses. This study aimed to assess mothers handwashing practice and the health effects on under-five children in northwest Ethiopia.
Methods: The study was an institution-based cross-sectional study conducted from November 2018 to January 2019 at the University of Gondar comprehensive specialized hospital. Four hundred and twenty two randomly selected mothers who have had under-five children were included in the study. Structured questioners were developed to assess handwashing practics and sociodemographic characterististics of mothers, and medical history related data of children were extracted from medical charts. Data entry and clearance were performed by Epi-infoTM version-7 software and exported for analysis to SPSS 22. Adjusted odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval was used to declare statistically significant variables on the basis of p-value <  0.05.
Results: The proportion of mothers who practiced good handwashing was 39.1% [95% CI: (34.8– 43.9)]. More than half (54.3% and 53.6%) of the mothers indicated that they always remind their children to wash their hands before and after eating, respectively. However, 28% of under-five children were admitted to hospital with a diarrheal disease which may have been due to the poor hand washing practices of their mother. The odds of having good knowledge of handwashing practices were 0.26 times lower. Being married increased the handwashing practices of mothers by 2.62 times.
Conclusion: The majority of mothers who were knowledgable about handwashing were not executing it accuractely. Diarrheal admissions among under-five children have been influenced by their mother’s poor hand washing practices. Therefore, it is imperitive to improve the understanding of proper handwashing practices of mothers at every level in the community.

Keywords: handwashing practice, under-five children, health outcome

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