Hand hygiene prevents the spread of germs, including coronavirus. It is one of the most cost effective, first line of defense against several infectious diseases. Promotion of hand wash with soap has been prioritized since years and COVID-19 pandemic further underscored its critical importance in prevention of disease transmission. A review of literature on global efforts towards inculcating the habit of hand hygiene among children revealed that sustaining the impact of the efforts for ensuring practice even when unsupervised continues to be a big challenge. This is substantiated by the findings of a recent pan India study conducted by the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) on understanding the acceptance of hand hygiene as a habit among school children. The survey with a sample size of 50,000 students in the age group of 5-15 years reveals that 18% of the respondents continue to believe that they do have germs on their hands and 35.5% of the respondents do not wash their hands with soap because they are not sure about its importance or are simply too lazy to do it. It is shocking to know that despite two years of intensive reinforcement about the importance of hand hygiene through various means of communication during Covid19, the behavior is yet to be ingrained and is mostly practiced only with prompting. This will prove to be a big challenge for safe reopening of schools. The survey was followed up with detailed interviews to gain further insights into the beliefs and attitudes that prevent the practice of hand hygiene even in contexts where required infrastructure and materials are available. The webinar aims to contribute to the development and implementation of effective behavior change programs to ensure that all children follow safe hand hygiene behaviors at all times. It will bring forward insights from field experiments and experiences related to hand hygiene behaviors in children from India and beyond. It will draw on these insights and help participants review their existing strategies for achieving behavior change. It will also elucidate the principles of designing effective behavior change campaigns.
Who should attend::
The webinar would be most useful for those who are directly involved in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools programs namely education department officials, NGOs, corporates, development organizations, researchers, teachers, communication professionals and so on.
Topics of Discussion::
- Findings from ASCI’s Study on Current Adoption of Safe Hygiene Practices by School Going Children in India.
- Lessons from India and Global Experiments & Experiences of Behaviour Change Programs
- Designing Effective Behaviour Change Campaigns
- Creativity and the Power of Art as a Means of Bringing Behaviour Change in Children