Effect of hygiene promotion on the risk of reinfection rate of intestinal parasites in children in rural Uzbekistan.
A controlled prospective cohort study was designed to assess the effectiveness of hygiene promotion on the risk of reinfection by intestinal parasites in children in 276 rural Uzbek households over a 1-year period. The study included three groups: seasonality (no medicine, no hygiene promotion activity), treatment (medicine provided, no hygiene promotion activity) and hygiene promotion (medicine provided and hygiene promotion activity). The Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation methodology was utilized as the key tool in hygiene promotion activities. Three hygiene behaviors were targeted: hand washing with soap, safe feces disposal and boiling drinking water. On average, more than 80% of all children tested were infected with Enterobius vermicularis, Hymenolepis nana, Ascaris lumbricoides, Giardia lamblia or Entamoeba coli. There were statistically significant differences between the three groups for the risk of reinfection rate: the risk of reinfection by parasites was 30% lower in the hygiene promotion group than in the treatment group and 37% lower than in the seasonality group. If properly designed and carried out, hygiene promotion is an effective tool in reducing the risk of intestinal parasite reinfection in children, thus improving children's health in rural communities.