a1 Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA
a2 Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA
a3 Center for Global Safe Water at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
a4 CARE Kenya, Homa Bay, Kenya
Safe drinking water and hygiene are essential to reducing Kenya's diarrhoeal disease burden. A school-based safe water and hygiene intervention in Kenya was evaluated to assess its impact on students' knowledge and parents' adoption of safe water and hygiene practices. We surveyed 390 students from nine schools and their parents at baseline and conducted a final evaluation of 363 students and their parents. From baseline to final evaluation, improvement was seen in students' knowledge of correct water treatment procedure (21–65%, P<0·01) and knowing when to wash their hands. At final evaluation, 14% of parents reported currently treating their water, compared with 6% at baseline (P<0·01). From 2004 to 2005, school absenteeism in the September–November term decreased in nine project schools by 35% and increased in nine neighbouring comparison schools by 5%. This novel programme shows promise for reducing school absenteeism and promoting water and hygiene interventions in the home.
(Accepted January 09 2007)
(Online publication February 19 2007)
c1 Author for correspondence: C. E. O'Reilly, Ph.D., Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS A-38, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.