Volume 81, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


In an earlier study in Karachi, Pakistan, households that received free soap and handwashing promotion for 9 months reported 53% less diarrhea than controls. Eighteen months after the intervention ended, these households were enrolled in a follow-up study to assess sustainability of handwashing behavior. Upon re-enrollment, mothers in households originally assigned to the intervention were 1.5 times more likely to have a place with soap and water to wash hands (79% versus 53%, = 0.001) and when asked to wash hands were 2.2 times more likely to rub their hands together at least three times (50% versus 23%, = 0.002) compared with controls. In the ensuing 14 months, former intervention households reported a similar proportion of person-days with diarrhea (1.59% versus 1.88%, = 0.66) as controls. Although intervention households showed better handwashing technique after 2 years without intervention, their soap purchases and diarrhea experience was not significantly different from controls.


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  • Received : 20 Feb 2009
  • Accepted : 15 Apr 2009

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