Research about Hand Washing Campaigns in Peru

This article is from three years ago, just found it when archiving my mail. A sad resilt is described of large media campaigns in a few countries.

The approach with the Hy2U differs completely with what has been described below. Would that give the Hy2U a better chance to make a difference?

The analysis indicates that the mass media intervention alone had no significant effect on exposure to the handwashing promotion campaign messages, and therefore no effect on handwashing knowledge or handwashing behavior. In contrast, the community-level intervention, a more comprehensive intervention that included several community and school activities in addition to the communications campaign, was successful in reaching the target audience with handwashing promotion messages and in improving the knowledge of the treated population on appropriate handwashing behavior. Those improvements translated into higher self-reported and observed handwashing with soap at critical junctures. However, no significant improvements in the health of children under the age of five were observed.

The fact that the intervention did not lead to direct improvements in child health is consistent with findings from the WSP Handwashing with Soap Initiative in Vietnam as well as a recent evaluation of the UNICEF implemented SHEWA-B (sanitation, hygiene education and water supply) intervention in Bangladesh. Together, these findings suggest that behavior change campaigns intended to reach a mass audience face trade-offs in terms of intensity and effectiveness. More intensive activities, in the case of the school component, proved more effective although not to the extent to show significant health improvements.

In other words, large declines in diarrhea found previously in highly controlled pilot interventions may be difficult to achieve in practice unless the intensity of these methods can be replicated at large scale. Such initiatives would likely be more resource intensive and may require amulti-sector approaches.