The article “Promoción del lavado de manos en niños de 10 años: evaluación de intervenciones piloto en ciudades del Norte Argentino” (Handwashing promotion in 10-year-old children: intervention studies in Northern Argentina) was published in Revista Argentina de Ciencias del Comportamiento.
The study presents an activity designed to promote knowledge on the importance of hand in 4th grade children and two pilot studies to evaluate its impact. It is based on the fact that although hand washing avoids severe infectious diseases, only one in five people wash their hands after using the bathroom.
The intervention was performed in public schools of non-urban localities with less than 85,000 inhabitants in provinces with high poverty indexes. The first pilot study was conducted in 2016 in Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, and consisted of recreational activities about the steps to follow for a correct hand washing. In 2017 a second pilot study was conducted in four localities in northern Argentina: Tartagal (Salta), Clorinda (Formosa), Pampa del Indio (Chaco), and Puerto Iguazú (Misiones). Children responses before and after the intervention were compared.
The results of both pilot studies indicated that this intervention has potential to promote knowledge about the steps to follow to achieve proper hand washing.
Soil-transmitted helminthiasis, known as intestinal parasites, usually affect the poorest communities in the world. These diseases have a great impact on the social and economic development of communities with high prevalence of helminthiasis, since they affect child school attendance. Good hygiene practices, such as hand washing and personal hygiene, are measures that prevent this type of infections.