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Availability and factors influencing community level handwashing facility in Ethiopia: Implication for prevention of infectious diseases

, Alemayehu Gonie Mekonnen
Published: 19 January 2021
PLOS ONE , Volume 16; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0243228

Abstract: Background Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of infectious diseases. A substantial body of research has examined the status and determinants of handwashing facilities in healthcare settings and schools. However, its status at home in the community, especially in developing countries, remains unclear. This study aimed to examine the availability and factors influencing basic handwashing facilities at households in Ethiopia. Method We analysed the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) data. EDHS employed a two-stage stratified cluster sampling technique. Data were collected from the lowest administrative unit (kebele). A multivariable logistic regression model that allowed cluster-level random effects was employed to examine factors that affect the availability of basic handwashing facilities (water plus soap) at households. Estimates from the regression model are reported as odds ratios (ORs) with standard errors clustered at the DHS cluster level to account for a sampling methodology. Results In our sample, only 1292 (8% [95% CI, 7.6%–8.4%]) of the households had basic handwashing facilities. Compared with head of household who had no formal education, the odds of having basic handwashing facilities was higher among head of household who completed secondary level of education (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.83; 95% CI: 1.35–2.49) and higher level of education (AOR = 2.35; 95% CI: 1.63–3.39). Odds of having basic handwashing facilities was increased with having radio (AOR = 1.32; 95% CI: 1.10–1.63) and television (AOR = 1.49; 95% CI: 1.10–2.02) at home. Households that had improved latrine were two times more likely to have basic handwashing facilities (AOR = 2.09; 95% CI: 1.56–2.80). Being at higher household wealth quintiles was associated with increased odds of having basic handwashing facilities. Conclusion Very low basic handwashing facilities was demonstrated by this study, whereas, awareness and socio-economic related factors were identified as a determinants for its availability in the household. Greater efforts are needed to increase the coverage of community-level handwashing facilities.
Keywords: Infectious diseases / hygiene / sanitation / Ethiopia / Health Care Facilities / Soaps / Educational status / COVID 19

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