Impact of Regular Soap Provision to Primary Schools on Hand Washing and E. coli Hand Contamination among Pupils in Nyanza Province, Kenya: A Cluster-Randomized Trial. Am Jnl Trop Med Hyg, Aug 2013.
Shadi Saboori, et al.
We assessed whether supplying soap to primary schools on a regular basis increased pupil hand washing and decreased Escherichia coli hand contamination. Multiple rounds of structured observations of hand washing events after latrine use were conducted in 60 Kenyan schools, and hand rinse samples were collected one time in a subset of schools. The proportion of pupils observed practicing hand washing with soap (HWWS) events was significantly higher in schools that received a soap provision intervention (32%) and schools that received soap and latrine cleaning materials (38%) compared with controls (3%).
Girls and boys had similar hand washing rates. There were nonsignificant reductions in E. coli contamination among intervention school pupils compared with controls. Removing the barrier of soap procurement can significantly increase availability of soap and hand washing among pupils; however, we discuss limitations in the enabling policy and institutional environment that may have prevented reaching desired levels of HWWS.