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Evaluation of the Role of School Children in the Promotion of Point-of-Use Water Treatment and Handwashing in Schools and Households—Nyanza Province, Western Kenya, 2007

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  • 1 Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc. (CARE) Kenya, Kisumu, Kenya

We installed drinking water and handwashing stations in 17 rural schools and trained teachers to promote water treatment and hygiene to pupils. We gave schools flocculent-disinfectant powder and hypochlorite solution for water treatment. We conducted a baseline water handling survey of pupils' parents from 17 schools and tested stored water for chlorine. We trained teachers and students about hygiene, installed water stations, and distributed instructional comic books to students. We conducted follow-up surveys and chlorine testing at 3 and 13 months. From baseline to 3-month follow-up, parental awareness of the flocculent-disinfectant increased (49–91%, P < 0.0001), awareness of hypochlorite remained high (93–92%), and household use of flocculent-disinfectant (1–7%, P < 0.0001) and hypochlorite (6–13%, P < 0.0001) increased, and were maintained after 13 months. Pupil absentee rates decreased after implementation by 26%. This school-based program resulted in pupil-to-parent knowledge transfer and significant increases in household water treatment practices that were sustained over 1 year.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Elizabeth Blanton, Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS A–38, Atlanta, GA 30030. E-mail: eblanton@cdc.gov

Financial support: The Procter and Gamble Company exclusively funded the study but did not contribute to study design, data analysis, or interpretation of results.

Authors' addresses: Elizabeth Blanton, Kathleen Wannemuehler, and Robert Quick, Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: eblanton@cdc.gov, kwannemuehler@cdc.gov, and rquick@cdc.gov. Sam Ombeki, Gordon Otieno Oluoch, and Alex Mwaki, CARE Kenya, Kisumu, Kenya, E-mails: ombeki@ksm.care.org.ke, gordon@ksm.care.org.ke, and alex@ksm.care.org.ke.

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