Table 5

Pre and postintervention health knowledge as a function of gender

Group and stage of intervention (correct responses given, %)
Mauritius (n=389)Zimbabwe (n=395)
Boys (n=198)Girls (n=191)Boys (n=192)Girls (n=203)
Session number and health statementPrePostPrePostPrePostPrePost
1Playing football will help to keep me healthy99.099.096.997.984.095.375.2*95.1
Regular exercise helps to prevent being overweight86.394.490.699.0*80.689.573.993.1
Minimum amount of exercise required daily to stay healthy76.092.972.294.757.088.047.481.8
2Important for boys to listen to girls42.680.374.1****85.937.864.637.570.8
Boys should help to protect girls from harm91.995.488.097.480.489.976.686.6
Football is just for boys87.898.596.9****98.975.894.278.894.0
3You can get HIV by touching someone76.193.984.3*95.365.282.368.785.9
Not having sex is an effective way to avoid getting HIV/AIDS64.682.272.391.1**71.185.866.081.3
You can tell whether people have HIV by the way they look62.284.269.591.1*48.758.336.9*47.3*
4It is possible to become addicted by starting to smoke marijuana70.189.966.193.759.577.559.972.4
Drinking alcohol can make you feel sad/lonely61.181.850.0*82.538.957.134.558.7
It is my choice whether or not I take drugs59.073.169.1*81.5*40.150.539.348.5
5Mosquitoes spread malaria80.794.474.296.394.796.895.097.0
Using a bed net at night helps to prevent getting malaria86.394.480.694.881.196.981.295.5
People with malaria can die if they do not get treatment86.994.887.895.873.782.070.384.2
6After washing, it is OK to dry my hands on my shirt87.397.494.2*98.483.689.979.592.6
Less likely to become ill if hands are washed before eating93.487.288.594.2*82.889.079.282.8
How long should I wash my hands to remove germs33.281.334.385.923.575.119.276.2
7Drinking dirty water causes diarrhoea87.896.494.2*97.488.492.092.594.6
It is OK to drink water taken straight from a river90.495.495.8*96.880.790.682.993.0
How long should water be boiled before it is safe to drink26.280.737.9*88.9*29.363.326.965.8
8A balanced diet contains food of many colours39.966.036.169.536.376.338.386.7**
Obesity can lead to diabetes76.886.977.090.538.371.426.7*68.7
You can become obese if you eat too many chips92.497.090.697.915.739.68.4*29.1*
9Vaccinations are dangerous89.495.486.998.460.356.563.966.3***
My parents/guardians have to pay for my vaccinations43.169.231.9*71.28.936.611.640.3
A vaccination is a type of health food38.130.931.626.346.661.143.365.2
10I can stop taking my medication as soon as I begin to feel better63.193.453.494.854.273.055.485.6***
There is no cure for tuberculosis16.956.214.760.751.665.857.266.8
The right medication can help people with HIV to live longer59.489.852.489.076.485.878.392.1*
  • Statistical tests refer to comparisons between the boys and girls responses at the pre and postintervention stages:

  • * p≤0.05;

  • ** p≤0.01;

  • *** p≤0.005;

  • **** p≤0.001.