A cross sectional study on personal hygiene among rural school students in southern Rajasthan

Nitesh Mangal, Dilip Kumar L., K. A. Varghese, Meet Chauhan


Background: The level of personal hygiene has a strong bearing on preventive capacity for many diseases and hence the assessment of its level assumes great significance. The school being a strong base for hygienic practices, the present study aimed to assess the level of personal hygiene and its associated factors as well as its effect on morbidity level of school children in a rural belt of southern Rajasthan.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted among 250 students studying in classes VIII to XII in 3 different schools of southern Rajasthan from November 2018 to February 2019.The data was obtained by interview method using pretested questionnaire which included socio-demographic factors, the hygienic practices and occurrence of diseases as dichotomous questions. The association of the attributes was tested through Chi-square test, correlation and regression techniques.

Results: Only 22% students scored above 75% and were categorized as good practioners of personal hygiene. The age of students, parents literacy, and household income were significantly associated with personal hygiene. The common morbidities like head lice and dental caries were found gender sensitive in the study area. The negative association between disease score and personal hygiene score implied that the disease burden of children can be minimized with higher personal hygiene practices.

Conclusions: Systematic efforts to sensitize school children and parents about importance of personal hygiene, improvement in parental literacy coupled with economic empowerment of rural families can help to enhance the status of personal hygiene of students and thereby drastic reduction in their disease burden.


Personal hygiene, Diseases score, Rural school children, Southern Rajasthan

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