Impact of a Hand Hygiene Curriculum and Group Handwashing Station at Two Primary Schools in East Africa

Int Q Community Health Educ. 2019 Apr;39(3):175-187. doi: 10.1177/0272684X18819968. Epub 2018 Dec 21.


Proper handwashing reduces the transmission of deadly, preventable diseases. Schools, even those with limited resources, have the power to promote handwashing through simple, effective interventions. This study evaluated the impact of a school-based handwashing program consisting of two interventions: a hand-hygiene curriculum and group handwashing station. Quantitative and open-ended pre/postintervention surveys were administered to students at one primary school in Kenya ( n = 38) and at one primary school in Uganda ( n = 57). Matching procedures were followed at each school. Paired ttests for pre/postsurveys demonstrated an increase in students' knowledge ( p < .001) and frequency of handwashing ( p < .001). After 6 months, students were still engaging in daily group handwashing. The curriculum increased knowledge, and the handwashing station enabled students to translate their knowledge into action. This study supports educational interventions combined with built environmental interventions should be used to promote handwashing behaviors and emphasizes the role of group handwashing stations.

Keywords: built environment; global health; handwashing; health promotion; intervention; school-based health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hand Disinfection / methods*
  • Hand Hygiene / methods
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Male
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Soaps
  • Uganda


  • Soaps