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This study examines the status and benefits of hand washing with cleaning agents at five critical times as part of the Advancing Sustainable Environmental Health (ASEH) project. It was the third part of a longitudinal study of a project in rural and urban areas of Bangladesh with an earlier baseline (2004) and mid-term impact study (2007). It was designed using an iterative Cluster Sampling Technique.
The study reveals that knowledge about critical hand washing times increased significantly in both rural and urban areas at all five critical hand washing times, except for two critical times related to children in rural areas. Of respondents in rural and urban areas, 27% and 63% respectively have knowledge about all five critical times. Hand washing at these critical times increased in rural and urban areas, with the exception of hand washing before feeding young children in rural areas. Notably, 27% of people in rural and 32% of people in urban areas reported washing their hands properly at all five critical times. This paper was presented at the Hygiene Practitioners Workshop, Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 2010.