Hand-hygiene interventions reduce illness due to acute respiratory infections in childcare, school and domestic settings in low- and middle-income countries

Added April 6, 2020

Citation: McGuinness SL, Barker SF, O’Toole J, et al. Effect of hygiene interventions on acute respiratory infections in childcare, school and domestic settings in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review. Tropical Medicine and International Health 2018; 23: 816-33

What is this?  In general, acute respiratory infection (ARI) are more common in children, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Interventions that improve hygiene practices may lower this disease burden and the associated evidence may inform decision making for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for randomized trials of the effects of hygiene interventions on ARI-related outcomes in children and adults in childcare, school and domestic settings in a LMIC. They did their searches in October 2017 and identified 3 trials in childcare centres, 4 trials in schools and 7 trials in domestic settings of interventions designed to promote hygiene practices in community settings.

What works: In childcare settings, hand-hygiene interventions reduced ARI-related absenteeism and illness.

In school settings, hand-hygiene interventions reduced ARI-related absenteeism and laboratory-confirmed influenza.

In domestic settings, hand-hygiene interventions and soap reduced ARI illness and pneumonia amongst children in urban settlements.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: In settings where hand-hygiene interventions did not appear to reduce ARI-related outcomes, it is uncertain if this is due to ineffective interventions or inconsistent reporting of intervention compliance. 

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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