School-age children can be extremely receptive to the promotion of good habits such as tooth-brushing or hand-washing and can develop positive attitudes towards the use of sanitary facilities. These habits and attitudes have positive health outcomes that continue throughout adult life. For this reason, Hygiene Centre staff members are actively involved in studying the psychology of habit formation, particularly in the context of routine behaviours.

Unfortunately, many schools in developing countries have inadequate sanitation and hygiene facilities. Several studies have highlighted the potential for inadequate hand washing and sanitation facilities in schools to contribute to the spread of gastrointestinal infections among children. Schools therefore act as focal points for the transmission of faecal-oral diseases. From diarrhoeal diseases, Hepatitis A to intestinal worms, all these diseases have detrimental effects on children's cognitive and educational achievement. Improving school sanitation facilities is an international priority.

Current Projects

I would like the tap to be violet & the soap blue & in a shape of a rabbit.

Hygiene Centre ‘Tools for Schools’ Toolkit

To better understand the unique determinants of children’s behaviour, the Hygiene Centre has been working for some years now on developing a set of tools which are tailored to effective communication with, and information elicitation from, children, especially in developing countries.

The first ‘generation’ of these tools were the brain-child of Myriam Sidibe, a DrPH student in the Hygiene Centre, who studied the hygiene behaviour of school-children in Senegal. Since then, the tools have been elaborated and modified through use in national surveys conducted in other sub-Saharan African countries, and more recently in Asia.

We now make them freely available to anyone who wishes to use them. (However, we would appreciate feedback from anyone who does use these tools so that we can continue to improve them. For this reason, we ask all downloaders to provide us with some information about themselves.)The Hygiene Centre ‘Tools for Schools’ Toolkit consists of:

  • ocument outlining the background and rationale for the tools
  • document containing a description of all tool protocols
  • A set of forms for use during data collection
  • A set of pictures for use in one of the tools

To download the toolkit please click HERE. You will be asked to provide a few details before you are redirected to the Toolkit download. Please rest assured that none of your details will be passed on to any third party and will remain confidential. Details are requested to provide simple statistics relating to where the toolkit may be used. Data will be used to improve our service.

Robert Aunger
Adam Biran
Rick Rheinigans

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