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An investigation of the effects of a hand washing intervention on health outcomes and school absence using a randomised trial in Indian urban communities

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This research study aimed to evaluate how an intervention, which combined hand washing promotion aimed at 5-year-olds with provision of free soap, affected illnesses among the children and their families and children’s school absenteeism. The study monitored illnesses, including diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections (ARIs), school absences and soap consumption for 41 weeks in 70 low-income communities in Mumbai, India. It showed that direct-contact hand washing interventions aimed at younger school-aged children can affect the health of the whole family.

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Date: 26 February 2014