June 13, 2023

Mobile phone based platform promotes hygiene practices : A Case Discussion

Join us for an insightful case discussion on a mobile phone-based platform that is transforming hygiene practices. Discover how this innovative solution leverages the ubiquity of mobile phones to educate, motivate, and reinforce essential hygiene habits. Explore real-life success stories and learn about the powerful impact technology can have on promoting healthier lifestyles. Don’t miss this engaging conversation as we delve into the potential of mobile platforms in revolutionizing hygiene practices for a safer and more hygienic world. Nargis Khatun is a participant in the Hand Washing in Bangladesh (HIB) project which is being funded by the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS). This is an experimental intervention jointly conducted by Dr. Abu Shonchoy, Dr. Resmaan Hussam, and Dr. Chikako Yamauchi. The intervention is intended to imply a mobile phone-based platform to enable people to view digital contents of hygiene-related awareness information amid their desired entertainment videos directly on their mobile phones in the form of cartoons, adverts, dramas, and clippings. Nargis Khatun is a housewife and currently 25 years old, who lives with her husband and two children in Talukjamira, a village in Gaibandha District. Her husband is a bicycle mechanic who works nearby the bazaar of the residence.

She came to know one day that, some staff from MOMODa FOUNDATION were looking for interested households to be part of the experiment. Afterward, she became interested and was enlisted as an eligible participant considering the eligibility criteria. Then she received a sensor-equipped dispenser that can log when and how often the dispenser is used and a Mobile handset to enable them to view digital contents of hygiene-related awareness information. After she became knowledgeable and conversant about the process of using the given dispenser and after watching digital contents of hygiene-related awareness information on their mobile phone, she left earlier hygiene habits like using only water, ash, or soil and hands rubbing in the ground. The earlier process of handwashing was so unwholesome and ineffectual that came to realize after taking in the current process of handwashing by soap dispenser. The process is now considered as very easy and cost-effective from her point of view. She claimed that she was reluctant or even unknown of hygiene habits which results in family members being affected by diarrheal diseases and other water-borne diseases. Her family members are now greatly inspired to use this soap dispenser regularly after the toilet or before and after taking meals and after doing other household chores. The newly-promoted hygiene habits helped them in the reduction of diarrheal diseases and other water-borne diseases. Family members are now less likely affected by diarrheal diseases compared with the earlier state they were used to rinsing or rubbing hands on the ground after the toilet and before taking a meal. In general, handwashing practice was so poor in the vicinity due to a lack of sufficient hygiene-related information and methods. This research is helping us to understand whether habits can be formed with the use of audio-visual media under mobile platforms and how this habit can improve the livelihood of poor people who traditionally have very limited knowledge of correct hygiene practices.

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