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Assessment of Hand Washing Practice and Associated Factors among Primary School Children in Sebeta Town Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia

Mathewos Mekonnen, Fekadu Aga, Tadale Kinati and Desalegn Shifera

Background: Proper hand washing is one of the simplest, most affordable and effective means of preventing the spread of infection. The aim of this study is to assess hand washing practice and associated factors among primary school children in Sebeta town. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 426 children in six primary schools in Sebeta town. Children were selected using simple random sampling technique. Data was collected using pretested self-administered questionnaire. Data was entered into EPI-info 3.5.2 then transported to SPSS 21 version for analysis. Result: Out of total participants only one-third (32%) fulfilled the criteria of proper hand washing practice i.e., washing hand with soap always or very often before meal and after visiting toilet. Students with positive attitude were more likely to practice proper hand washing (AOR=2.29; 95%CI=1.43, 3.66). On the other hand students from rural areas were less likely to practice proper hand washing than their urban counter-part (AOR=0.53; 95%CI=0.30, 0.94). Conclusion: Small proportion of children practiced proper hand washing behavior before meal and after toilet. Place of residency and attitude, were significantly associated with hand washing practice. Therefore, further modification of attitude by focusing on children living rural area is recommended.