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- Methods and participants
Multimedia has become increasingly important in educational programmes in schools in all societies, and has potential value for health education. We developed a video and a comic book on the transmission and prevention of schistosomiasis for use in primary schools in endemic areas of China. The material was designed to increase children’s knowledge of schistosomiasis as an environmental disease and to encourage them to reduce their contact with unsafe water sources. To test the effectiveness of the video and booklet, a quasi-experimental study was conducted among 1739 children in 50 primary schools in the Dongting Lake region. A self-administered questionnaire pre- and post-intervention showed a significant increase in knowledge about schistosomiasis in the intervention schools. Significantly, this change was associated with a decrease in contact with unsafe water sources, as established from water contact observations. This behavioural change suggests the value of short, targeted educational interventions to decrease risk of infection.