ATTITUDES TOWARD EFFECTIVE HAND WASHING AND A NEW LOW-COST HAND WASHING DEVICE TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 CASES IN CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN BANGLADESH
Haider Mannan, Sayed Koushik Ahamed, Uthpall Kumar Roy, Md. Kouser, Md. Rabiul Alam, Pradip Debnath, Sangita Chakraborty
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Background: During the Covid-19 pandemic, the risk is high for people to contact the virus. The risk multiplies at crowded places. To combat the problem in a country like Bangladesh, where hygienic practices are poor, we manufactured a user-friendly hand washing device. The public use of this device will ensure a hygienic lifestyle for people. Methods: Manufactured in Bangladesh’s Cumilla and unveiled on August 15, 2020, this “Foot Press Hand washing Device” is a system requiring only a foot pressing to operate. It was designed based on the hydraulic pressure of the air pump having two operational aspects- soap ejection and water outlet. An online cross-sectional survey on 450 individuals in three cities and a face-to-face survey in a Bangladesh village were conducted to assess users’ satisfaction. Results: A total of 73.1% and 70.1% respondents in two surveys used a hand washing device in the past six months, 71.8% and 73.8% prioritized 20-second hand washing, 37.6% and 68.7% voiced importance of health hygiene against Covid-19. A total of 71.0% and 78.1% found the device unique while 71.2% and 74.7% believed it useful against Covid-19, 68.0% and 73.3% believed it suitable for rural people, 71.8% and 73.6% believed that it could be placed in a crowded place, 44.4% and 65.1% found it user-friendly for rural people. Conclusions: The device helps restrict virus transmission by washing hands with soap water in public places. This low-cost device can be produced using locally available materials. Future studies are needed to assess its effectiveness to prevent Covid-19 and hygiene-related infections.