Sightsavers Reports

Integrating face washing into a school-based, handwashing behavior change program to prevent trachoma in Turkana, Kenya

Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness, and facial cleanliness has been associated with reduced odds of trachomatous inflammation and Chlamydia trachomatis infection; however, there is little evidence on how to drive this behaviour change at scale. This study reports on the results of a program integrating face washing into a school-based handwashing promotion program in Turkana County, Kenya. Face washing during handwashing events and trachoma knowledge was significantly higher in intervention than control schools up to 20 months after the intervention. The results suggest that achieving the “F” (face washing) of the WHO’s SAFE strategy for trachoma prevention may be possible in-part through school-based programs.

A young boy washes his face outside next to a water container branded with the Sightsavers logo
Journal Title
Date published
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Relevant links
Read the full study on PubMed
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