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Evidence-Based Resource Summary

Strength of Evidence: 
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Year Published: 

Hand Washing Promotion for Preventing Diarrhea

Description of Resource: 
Diarrhea causes many deaths in children under age 5, mostly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Hand washing after defecation, after cleaning a baby's bottom, and before preparing and eating food can reduce the risk of diarrhea. This Cochrane Review summarized trials evaluating the effects of promoting hand washing on the incidence of diarrhea among children and adults in day-care centers, schools, communities, or hospitals. This review identified 22 trials conducted in both high-income countries and LMICs. Hand washing promotion strategies were found to be effective in child day-care facilities, schools and hospital settings. Hand washing promotion may reduce the incidence of diarrhea by about 30%. However, less is known about how to help people maintain hand washing habits in the longer term.

Evidence-Based Resource Details

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Developed By: 
Cochrane Library
Developer Type: 
Non-Federal Government
Healthy People 2020 Topic Area(s): 
Food Safety
Healthy People 2020 Objectives: 
Resource Type: 
Systematic Review
Ejemot-Nwadiaro RI, Ehiri JE, Arikpo D, Meremikwu MM, Critchley JA. Hand washing promotion for preventing diarrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2017 Oct 25];(9). doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004265.pub3. Available from: