A national communication campaign in Indonesia is associated with improved WASH-related knowledge and behaviors in Indonesian mothers

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A national communication campaign in Indonesia is associated with improved WASH-related knowledge and behaviors in Indonesian mothers

Abstract

Background: Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) behaviors play a significant role in stunting. Knowledge and behaviors regarding WASH among caregivers are critical to providing children with chances to survive and thrive. The purpose of this study is to determine if exposure to a national communication campaign using media and interpersonal communication (IPC) is associated with WASH-related knowledge and behaviors among Indonesian mothers with children under the age of two.

Methods: Data came from a cross-sectional survey of 1734 mothers with children under the age of two. The measures included exposure to two different interventions: media messages (media) and interpersonal communication strategies (IPC) and WASH-related knowledge and behavior. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine the association between intervention exposure and study variables.

Results: Exposure to both media and IPC interventions was associated with participants having a higher knowledge of appropriate defecation practices (p < 0.001), higher knowledge of proper handwashing practices (p < 0.001), and higher self-reported handwashing at critical times (p < 0.001) but was not associated with reported practicing of appropriate defecation (OR = 0.780, 95% CI: 0.566–1.101). Mothers exposed to only media interventions were more likely to have knowledge of appropriate defecation practices (p < 0.001) and to have reported practicing appropriate defecation behaviors (OR = 1.539, 95% CI: 1.173–2.019). Mothers exposed to only IPC interventions were more likely to have reported handwashing at critical times (p = 0.009).

Conclusions: Exposure to both media and IPC interventions was associated with increased knowledge and optimal behaviors related to WASH. These findings demonstrate the value of communications campaigns that use mass media coupled with IPC to improve WASH knowledge and behavior.

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