This paper provides insight into the World Bank's project to encourage people to use soap and water to wash their hands at critical times throughout the day in Peru and Vietnam. They find that it is not easy to change behavior at the large scale.
- People exposed to the mass media plus public outreach campaigns in Vietnam and in Peru werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t any more likely to wash their hands with soap and water at key times.
- An increase in handwashing at critical times was only observed in households that had children in schools with the specialized handwashing curriculum.
- Nonetheless, there was no reported decline in childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s illnesses among the households in Peru.
- Handwashing campaigns must move beyond traditional mass media into more personalized and intensive programs at the community and institutional level.