Main Article Content
Aims: Diarrhoea and pneumonia are serious global public health problems affecting child survival especially in the developing countries. The study aimed to assess the indirect effect of hand washing campaign during COVID risk communication and community engagement on diarrhoea and respiratory infection among children under five.
Study Design: This was both cross sectional survey and retrospective chart review.
Place and Duration of Study: Jijiga Town of Somali Region, Ethiopia between November 2019 and 30th June 2020.
Methodology: Handwashing practices among the households and the reported number of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection in the District Health Information System (DHIS) database 4 months before and 4 months during COVID 19 risk communication handwashing campaign was assessed and paired t test used to determine the effect of the campaign on diarrhoea and respiratory illness at a significant level of 5%.
Results: 255(44%) of the 580 households had basic hand washing facilities, however 171 (67.1%) of the 255 households with hand washing facilities demonstrated appropriate hand washing techniques. The percentage mean reduction in the number of children under five treated for acute respiratory infection and diarrhoea before and during the campaign was 6.49% and 11.5% though not statistically significant with p value = 0.778 and 0.3952 respectively.
Conclusion: The study reaffirmed the effect of proper hand washing practices on the reduction of episodes of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection among children which ultimately will contribute to reducing child mortality and shows that COVID interventions and investment could be used to support and strengthen non COVID routine health services.
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