Document Type : Research Paper
Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan
Department of Clinical pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq
Background: Supported by evidence-based literature, hand hygiene (HH) is one of the cost-effective and simple preventive measures against COVID-19. The phenomenon is least reported in the developing world. Methods: We therefore were interested in assessing whether the COVID-19 had influenced knowledge and practice of HH and to highlight the determinants of HH among mothers of children under five years of age. This was a questionnaire-based, cross-sectional predictive analysis. Four hundred and seventeen mothers of children under five years of age visiting a public healthcare institute were targeted for data collection by using a pre-validated, structured questionnaire. Data were coded and analyzed by Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 26. Followed by the descriptive analysis, the binary logistic regression was used to find the predictors of knowledge, attitude, and practices toward HH. Although adequate insight into HH was reported, certain areas of misconceptions were also observed. Results: Educational level was significantly associated with knowledge, attitude, and practice items and the Jonckheere-Terpstra test revealed a moderate positive trend (τ = 0.3 – 0.5) toward higher education. The binary logistic regression model had eight independent variables and all predictors were statistically significant (χ2 = 18.5, p < 0.001, DF =4). The strongest predictor of knowledge, attitude, and practice was education with significant OR of 2.5, 1.6, and 1.5, respectively. The study managed to highlight good HH among mothers, however; certain limitations were observed. Such limitations are related to a lack of health literacy that needs to be addressed as early as possible. Adequate HH ensures exceptional preventive measures against COVID-19 that provides a surety of an ailment-free environment. Conclusion: We urge the healthcare professionals and policymakers to target improving health literacy of the masses and to disseminate HH-related information that will help in management of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
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