‘SuperMum’ campaign results in startling improvements in people’s hand-washing behavior
Friday, February 28, 2014
An analysis of a unique “SuperMum” (SuperAmma) handwashing campaign shows for the first time that using emotional motivators, such as feelings of disgust and nurture, rather than health messages, can result in significant, long-lasting improvements in people’s handwashing behaviour, and could in turn help to reduce the risk of infectious diseases.
An evaluation of the behaviour-change intervention, published in The Lancet Global Health journal, shows that 6 months after the campaign was rolled out in 14 villages in rural India, rates of handwashing with soap increased by 31%, compared to communities without the programme, and were sustained for 12 months.
“Every year, diarrhoea kills around 800000 children under 5 years old. Handwashing with soap could prevent perhaps a third of these deaths”, explains study author Dr Val Curtis, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.