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Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Oct;134(5):1029-36. Epub 2006 Jan 26.

Sustained high levels of stored drinking water treatment and retention of hand-washing knowledge in rural Kenyan households following a clinic-based intervention.

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  • 1Center for Global Safe Water at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Nyanza Province, Kenya is characterized by poor water quality and high diarrhoea prevalence. To address these problems, nurses in a maternal and child health clinic in Homa Bay, Kenya were trained in household water chlorination with a locally available, social marketed product, and in six steps of proper hand washing. They were asked to communicate this information to their clients. Interviews immediately following the training by nurses were conducted on 220 clients, of whom 168 (76%) reported being taught both procedures during their clinic visit. After 2 weeks, free chlorine residuals were present in stored drinking water in 67 out of 98 (68%) clients' homes and, 1 year later, in 36 out of 51 (71%) clients' homes. After 2 weeks, all six hand-washing steps were correctly demonstrated by 41 (44%) out of 93 clients, and by 17 out of 51 (34%) 1 year later. This brief, practical intervention shows promise for vulnerable populations.

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