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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 509-512

Association of personal hygiene with common morbidities among upper primary school children in rural Odisha

Department of Community Medicine, IMS and SUM Hospital, Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sandeep Kumar Panigrahi
Department of Community Medicine, IMS and SUM Hospital, K-8, Kalinga Nagar, Ghatikia, Bhubaneswar - 751 003, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.222039

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Context: In India, children of upper primary school receive less attention from health-care providers. The majority of their health problems are preventable through hygienic practices. Aims: The aim of this study was to find out the association of personal hygiene with common morbidities among upper primary school children. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional study conducted in a rural upper primary school of Odisha. Subjects and Methods: A semi-structured schedule based on the Global School Health Survey Questionnaire and necessary instruments for clinical examination were used. Statistical Analysis Used: Data were entered in Microsoft Excel 2007 and analyzed by SPSS version 20 software. Results: Of 90 participants, 58 (64.4%) were girls. The mean age was 11.8 (±1.01) years. The mean body mass index of females was significantly higher than males (16.95 vs. 14.72; P = 0.001). More than 90% of children maintained good personal hygiene such as clean tongue, clean hair, handwashing, and using footwear. The most common morbidities found were dental caries (38.9%), history of worms in stool and lethargy (20%). A mean score of 6.14 ± 0.11 (out of 8) was seen for personal hygiene and not associated with any particular morbidity or gender. Brushing daily was significantly associated with reduced dental caries (χ2 = 8.7; P < 0.005) and foul-smelling breath (χ2 = 4.93; P < 0.05). Fungal infections were significantly less in children who bathed daily (χ2 = 28.7; <0.005) and wore clean clothes (χ2 = 5.06; P < 0.05). Conclusion: Dental caries, foul-smelling breath, and fungal infections were significantly associated with poor personal hygiene. School health services should also focus on upper primary school children for improvement of personal hygiene.

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