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A handwashing intervention in a low income community in the developing world reduced disease incidence in children

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 Q In children who live in a low income community in the developing world, does handwashing reduce the incidence of acute respiratory infections, impetigo, and diarrhoea?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Infectious disease ★★★★★★☆ Paediatrics ★★★★★☆☆ Public health ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

cluster randomised controlled trial.

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:


Embedded ImageFollow up period:

1 year.

Embedded ImageSetting:

adjoining squatter settlements in central Karachi, Pakistan.

Embedded ImageParticipants:

4691 children <15 years of age in 906 households in 36 neighbourhoods. Eligible households had ⩾2 children who were <15 years of age (1 of whom was <5 y). Households that had previously received a soap or water vessel intervention were excluded.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

25 neighbourhoods (3163 children) were allocated to handwashing, and 11 neighbourhoods (1528 children) were assigned to a control group. Households within the handwashing …

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  • * See glossary

  • For correspondence: Dr S P Luby, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. sluby{at}

  • Source of funding: Procter & Gamble.

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