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Impact of different promotional channels on handwashing behaviour in an emergency context: Haiti post-earthquake public health promotions and cholera response

In a disaster context, where risk for diarrhoeal disease is elevated, personal hygiene, i.e. handwashing with soap, is especially relevant. However, to date, the promotion of hygiene in an emergency context has not been adequately addressed in the literature. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effectiveness of hygiene promotions in post-earthquake Haiti. Analysis revealed six promotional channels with positive associations with handwashing behavior, however, five of the promotional channels were negatively related with handwashing. By revealing positive but also negative associations between hygiene promotions and handwashing behaviour, the study underlines the need to apply theory-driven emergency hygiene promotions which are subjected to in-depth evaluation. Only through doing this, is it ensured that effective hygiene promotions are implemented for the most vulnerable people - those affected by a humanitarian disaster.

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