Volume 86, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Access to safe drinking water and improved hygiene are essential for preventing diarrheal diseases. To integrate hygiene improvement with antenatal care, free hygiene kits (water storage containers, water treatment solution, soap) and educational messages were distributed to pregnant women at antenatal clinics in Malawi. We assessed water treatment and hygiene practices of 275 non-pregnant friends and relatives of the hygiene kit recipients at baseline and follow-up nine months later to measure program impact on non-participants in the same communities. At follow-up, friends and relatives who did not receive kits or education were more likely than at baseline to purchase and use water treatment solution (25% versus 1%; < 0.0001) and demonstrate correct handwashing practices (60% versus 18%; < 0.0001). This antenatal clinic–based program resulted in improved water treatment and hygiene behaviors among non-pregnant friends and relatives living in the same communities as hygiene kit recipients, suggesting that program benefits extended beyond direct beneficiaries.


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  • Received : 23 Apr 2011
  • Accepted : 29 Oct 2011
  • Published online : 01 May 2012

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