A Germ’s Journey: the impact of a co-created educational hand-hygiene intervention to address UN sustainable development goals in education and health in the UK and low-and-middle-income-countries
The ‘Germ’s Journey’ health-education intervention was developed to address the challenge of teaching young children efficient handwashing techniques to tackle infection. WHO state that effective handwashing is integral for preventing the transmission of infectious disease, with evidence stating that one-third of infections could be prevented with correct handwashing. Children are particularly vulnerable in relation to both the spreading and contracting of infectious disease. Communicable diseases present as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among children globally with diarrheal disease accounting for 1 in 9 child deaths (approximately 2,195 deaths a day). Despite this there are few handwashing resources specifically aimed at young children. Also, this age group is known to be particularly tactile and to spread germs through contact, therefore, handwashing quality is crucial in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. This project has demonstrated that multi-component resources improve handwashing behaviour in children and knowledge of germ transfer, addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals for health (SDG3) and education (SDG4). This poster presents findings from a collection of studies that, following a Co-Creation and Participatory Action Research (PAR) model, evaluate whether specifically developed resources (‘A Germ’s Journey’) aid children in the UK and India’s understanding of hand-hygiene principles. Furthermore, it discusses how the findings can both inform the future development of culturally relevant resources for low-and-middle-income countries such as Sierra Leone, and have an impact on the reduction of childhood illnesses associated with diarrhoea and vomiting in the state of Gujarat, India. Educational health-hygiene workshops were conducted with schools in the UK and Sierra Leone and in collaboration with NGOs in India in areas of considerable socio-economic disadvantage. Mixed-method data was collected from children using quasi-experimental methods, using pre-workshop questions, follow-up questions, observations and baseline and post-workshop assessments. Data was collected from teachers using questionnaires and focus groups.
Citation : Crosby, S., Laird, K. and Younie, S. (2020) A Germ’s Journey: the impact of a co-created educational hand-hygiene intervention to address un sustainable development goals in education and health in the UK and low-and-middle-income-countries. East Midlands Doctoral Network (EMDoc) 2020 Conference, De Montfort University, 10th September 2020.