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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 136-144

Perception and practice of handwashing among public secondary school students in Somolu Local Government Area, Lagos, Nigeria - A cross-sectional study

Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Esther O Oluwole
Department of Community Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos P.M.B. 12003, Surulere, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcls.jcls_5_20

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Background: Hand hygiene is a simple and effective means of preventing the spread of communicable diseases, and the promotion of hand hygiene is an important public health measure. This study assessed knowledge, attitude, and practice of and barriers to handwashing among secondary school students in Somolu Local Government Area (LGA), Lagos, Nigeria. Methods: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional, conducted in selected secondary schools in Somolu LGA, Lagos State. Multistage sampling method was employed to select 420 respondents from the selected public secondary schools. Self-administered and pretested questionnaires were used to collect data. Analysis was done using IBM SPSS version 22. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted with level of significance (P) at ≤0.05. Results: The mean ± standard deviation age of the respondents was 14.09 ± 2.06 years. Less than two-third (64.0%) of the respondents had good knowledge, almost all (99.5%) had positive attitude, while about 71% had good practice of handwashing. Forgetfulness (49.8%) and laziness (33.8%) were the major reasons for not practicing handwashing at home as opposed to unavailability of soap (50%) and lack of nearby water supply (46.2%) in schools. A statistically significant association was found between class of respondents, parent's level of education, and handwashing practices (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Although majority of the respondents had positive attitude toward handwashing, knowledge and practice of handwashing, which is a key to infection control, was not at par with their attitudes. We recommend targeted health education sessions on handwashing and provision of handwashing facilities in secondary schools.

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