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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 251-257

Impact of swachh bharat summer internship by medical students at a village in Trichy, Tamil Nadu

Department of Community Medicine, Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prabha Thangaraj
Department of Community Medicine, Trichy SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Irungalur, Trichy - 621 105, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_124_19

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BACKGROUND: Inadequate sanitation and hygiene is one of the important public health issues in rural communities of India. Swachh Bharat Gramin was initiated by the Government of India to accelerate sanitation services in rural areas. Recently, Swachh Bharat Summer Internship (SBSI) program was introduced to involve students of higher educational institution to contribute 100 h of service for cleanliness activities and mass awareness creation in villages. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of SBSI activities by medical students at a selected village in Trichy district. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Under SBSI program, a community-based educational intervention study was done in a rural area of Trichy district from May to July 2018. The intervention was provided by a team of medical students to about 1600 individuals residing in the village. Among them, 100 individuals were included in pre- and posttest survey to assess the impact of intervention. The activities include Information, Education, and Communication, community mobilization, and participation to prevent open-air defecation (OAD), promote handwashing, and proper solid waste management. The Chi-square test was used to compare baseline and postintervention results. RESULTS: In baseline survey, 45% have ever heard about Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), 58% were practicing OAD, and 55% were unaware about waste segregation at household level. Awareness on SBM, waste segregation at household, and practice of handwashing improved in postinterventional survey (P < 0.05). Among the study population, 62% were motivated by our activities to change their behavior toward better sanitation. CONCLUSION: The internship program improved the knowledge and behavior on sanitation at the rural community, and it also provided a learning opportunity for medical students.

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