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The aim of this project is a research-based evaluation of a multidisciplinary program focusing on moving citizens from unemployment and social security benefits to employment and education in Sonderborg Municipality. The citizens who are assigned cannot readily enter the labor market or can get education through employment initiatives in the Job Centre in Sonderborg Municipality because of complex health-related troubles. The project is designed to include a prospective observational study and a qualitative study using questionnaires, observations, interviews and informations about employment from the Sonderborg Municipality.
This study will use longitudinal data collection to quantify the impact of a school-based water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program in Mali, West Africa, on pupil absenteeism, diarrheal illness, and respiratory illness. Data will be collected from 100 intervention and 100 control schools across 4 regions in Mali. At each school research staff will randomly select 60 pupils in grades 3-6 (typically ages 7-14). Research staff will ask school directors to provide written consent for pupil participation in place of parents, a procedure that has been approved by the Malian Ministry of Education. Research staff will approach selected pupils at school to request informed oral assent for participation. The informed assent process and data collection will be conducted by local trained enumerators in the child's preferred language of French or Bambara. Oral rather than written assent was chosen due to varied literacy capabilities and to limit paperwork that identifies participants. Data collection will take place at each school once every six to eight weeks during the duration of two school years. Research staff will conduct observations of school facilities, observations of handwashing behavior of children upon leaving latrines, and an interview with the school director about WASH conditions and school enrollment information. None of these school activities collect personal data or identifiers. Data collection with pupils will be done with the same pupils every 6-8 weeks and entails a 5-minute interview asking about recent absence and symptoms of diarrhea and respiratory illness. All data collection will occur at the school, will be conducted by trained local enumerators, and will be stored on password-protected mobile data collection devices. Data will be uploaded to a password-protected server and will not contain personal identifying information. Enumerators will maintain a separate form that links pupil IDs with names, which will be kept confidential. There are no direct benefits other than contribution to general knowledge that will inform future school WASH projects. There are no risks to participation other than a small amount of class time missed by pupils, and great efforts will be made to minimize time outside of class.
The purpose of this study is to assess whether simple, school-based handwashing promotion impacts health and hygiene knowledge among students and their families.