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Knowledge and Practice of Frequent Hand Washing Among the Students of University of Maiduguri in Reducing the Spread of Covid19.


This study was one knowledge and practice of frequent hand washing among the student of University of Maiduguri reducing the spread of COVID19. Four objectives were raised which included: To find out the knowledge of University of Maiduguri students on hand washing hygiene during COVID 19, to find out hand washing practice among Maiduguri students during COVID 19, to find out other preventive measure that was taken by students of Maidiguri student during COVID 19 and to find out the challenges of students during COVID19 time. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up of final year students, year 4 students, year 3 students and year 2 students man were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies



2.1 Coronavirus

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.

The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).

At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available

 Hand washing

The history of hand hygiene begins in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1847, the hand-hygiene pioneer Ignaz Semmelweis championed handwashing with a chlorinated lime solution as a way to reduce the terrifyingly high rates of mortality in maternity clinics, publishing a book in 1861 that made the link between puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) and the lack of hand hygiene by attending doctors.4 Florence Nightingale implemented hygiene measures, including handwashing by staff, in the hospitals of the Crimean War and showed statistically that these measures reduced mortality among soldiers

Over time, the evidence expanded, and hand hygiene was shown to help prevent a range of respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases and be crucial in fighting bacterial infections in health care facilities. In the early years of the new millennium, the profile of hand hygiene as a vital public health intervention rose, with increasing engagement of social and behavioural scientists. Additionally, the private sector began playing an important role, bringing marketing expertise and advice on how to improve markets for hand hygiene products. This led to the emergence of multi-stakeholder partnerships and the development of a range of resources. The Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing was launched in 2001 by members that included the World Bank, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF, Johns Hopkins University, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Unilever, Proctor and Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive. The following year, an important set of guidelines was published by partnership member CDC. A few years later, the partnership launched Global Handwashing Day, which is now observed annually on 15 October by over one hundred countries, with schoolchildren as particularly enthusiastic participants. The partnership has continued to expand and broaden, and has almost 40 members and affiliates.

In parallel, WHO issued the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care, along with an improvement strategy, assessment tools and improvement toolkit, and has continued to update and add to these resources.5 Experience has shown that progress on hand hygiene is periodically accelerated by high-profile disease outbreaks, including H1N1 influenza, Ebola viral disease and, most recently, COVID-19. In response to COVID-19, governments have promoted hand hygiene, not only as a first line of defence in controlling the pandemic, but also to increase resilience to future disease outbreaks.

Since 2012, the Global Handwashing Partnership has synthesized the latest handwashing research, highlighting key findings, and providing guidance on handwashing best practices for academics and implementers. In 2020, handwashing with soap was spotlighted as an important measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The research covered in this summary reflects this heightened interest in handwashing, both as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a sustainable public health measure as the pandemic passes. The Global Handwashing Partnership searched NCBI and Global Health databases to identify peer-reviewed articles for inclusion in the 2020 research summary. Articles were filtered by publication dates between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Search terms included: handwashing, hand hygiene, hand disinfection and other variations. We also included terms for specific settings and integrated issues, such as nutrition, education, healthcare facilities, and COVID-19.

Hand washing Benefits

Research published in 2020 reinforces what was already known – handwashing has cross-cutting benefits. Studies in 2020 focused on handwashing benefits related to nutrition and early childhood development, diarrheal disease, and neglected tropical diseases. Beyond the research highlighted, we know that handwashing has a positive effect on other education, health, and economic outcomes. The latest research confirms that poor access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities can negatively affect child growth and development. A cross-sectional study in rural North Central Ethiopia found that the prevalence of diarrheal disease among children under five in non-open defecation-free areas was 41% compared to 19% in open-defecation-free zones (Tafere et al., 2020). Ethiopia’s community-led total sanitation and hygiene strategy targets ending open defecation, hygienic use of toilets, and handwashing at critical times. In this case, the lack of functional handwashing facilities and improper excreta disposal were significantly associated with diarrheal diseases among children under 5. Another cross-sectional study examined the association of nutrition and WASH practices on children’s nutritional status, intestinal parasitic infections, and diarrhea in rural Nepal (A. Shrestha et al., 2020). Handwashing, nutrition, and health interventions included in the study resulted in lower stunting (20% to 18%), decreased anemia (33% to 32%), decreased intestinal parasitic infections and improved hygiene behaviors. Proper and consistent hand hygiene practices can also be protective against neglected tropical diseases. Handwashing with soap was found to be a key factor in preventing soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections among children. One study explored the prevalence and risk factors associated with STH infections among children from Bhubaneswar, Odisha in India (Mahapatra et al., 2020). The study found STH infections were 12% less likely in those children practicing handwashing with soap. Another study investigated the prevalence of Toxocara canis (dog roundworm) or T. canis infection and its associated risk factors among primary school-aged children in rural Thailand (Phasuk & Punsawad, 2020). Lack of handwashing before meals was revealed as a significant risk factor. Children who did not practice proper handwashing before meals had more than 2 times greater odds of acquiring T. canis infection. WASH in combination with other interventions proved beneficial for early childhood development. The Sanitation Hygiene Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) trial in Zimbabwe found that compared to the arm with standard care, children in the infant and young child feeding (IYCF) plus WASH arm had higher total child development scores as measured by the Malawi Developmental Assessment Tool (mean difference +4.6) as well as higher MacArthur Bates vocabulary scores (+8.5 words) (Chandna et al., 2020).

Improving Hand Hygiene Behaviors

Having access to handwashing facilities, soap and water is an important first step but this needs to be complemented with actions to change handwashing behavior at an individual and societal level so that handwashing becomes a long-term habit and a norm. Below we highlight some evidence-based recommendations for changing handwashing behavior.

Hygiene promotion is one of the most cost effective public health interventions in general and for COVID-19 prevention. However, this does not mean that it is easy or cheap to implement. Hygiene promotion should not be thought of as a one-off event but rather an adaptive process that gets revised and adjusted in order to support sustained change. It is valuable for people to know the health benefits of handwashing, how to wash their hands and the critical times it should be practiced. However, programs that focus only on hygiene education typically do not achieve behavior change. This is because most people know about handwashing and because hygiene behavior is influenced by a range of determinants. Try changing the physical environment to cue and enable handwashing behavior. For example, a study in Bangladesh showed that painting footprints on the path between the toilet and the handwashing facility increased handwashing behavior by 64% in schools. Another study in a displacement camp found that putting toys in soap made handwashing more fun for children and made them 4 times more likely to wash their hands with soap.

Handwashing behaviors naturally increase during outbreaks, but work should be done to ensure sustainable behavior long-term. When people are suddenly flooded with information about a new pathogen and subsequently experience fear, they perceive that they are at risk, and see social norms changing to adapt to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the effect of outbreaks on hygiene behavior is short-lived. As fear subsides or if the outbreak becomes endemic and normalized, hygiene behavior will decline too. The key role of response agencies is to learn about the priorities for local populations, enable handwashing behavior (e.g. through infrastructure and products) and motivate practice by positioning it as the ‘right thing to do’. Yet, during outbreaks, actors often compromise on the program design process in order to respond quickly. This can result in populations often becoming disengaged and bored with hygiene promotion programs because they don’t seem relevant to their experiences of the pandemic. Rapid assessments or even short periods of learning from communities are critical for developing acceptable, relevant and context-adapted programs. During crises, it is also particularly important to share information between actors and to learn from and engage populations throughout the project design and implementation.


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