October 15th is day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand washing with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives in both medical and non medical fields.It is a campaign to motivate and mobilize people around the World to improve their hand washing habits by washing their hands with soap at critical moments throughout each day.

When hands are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and viruses, these pathogens can enter the body or pass from person-to-person. Once these bacteria and viruses enter the body, they can cause a wide range of infections. Hand washing is one of the major measures in preventing contagious diseases that are spread by bacteria and viruses. Some examples include-Cold Sores-( Herpes simplex virus type 1), Common Cold, Conjunctivitis (Pink-eye),Pinworm Infection, Diarrhoea, skin infections like Impetigo. And now with the evolution of more dangerous diseases like The swine flu and Ebola, the importance of handwashing needs to be stressed even more.

handwashingii

Handwashing with soap is estimated to reduce incidents of diarrhea by 30% and respiratory infections by 21% in children under the age of five

It is important to turn handwashing into a habit. Turning handwashing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit can save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute Respiratory infections by one-quarter.

On Global hand wash day, we are sharing some important points regarding it-

Importance be explained to everyone – It is very important to accept the importance of this simple technique and spread this message to each and every individual , be it in hospitals, schools , offices, factories or homes! A simple reminder poster near dining room/wash basin area about the technique is an excellent tool.

Arrange for soaps/hand washes– In order to make this successful, a soap and clean water must always be made available

Effectiveness– Keep in mind that it is as effective as a vaccine and yet is the cheapest method of disease prevention.

Keep in mind the best hand washing technique – A pictorial representation if available near basins is excellent tool for reminder of the best and most effective way to wash hands.

Remember to especially wash hands when

  • after using the toilet or changing nappies
  • before,during and after preparing food
  • between handling raw meat and cooked or ready-to-eat food
  • before eating
  • after using a tissue or handkerchief
  • before and after attending to sick children or other family members.
  • after smoking
  • after handling waste material or working in the garden
  • after handling animals

 

References

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/handwashing-why-its-important

https://www.eriecountypa.gov/ecdh/pdfs/TheDirtyDozenHO.pdf

 https://globalhandwashing.org/global-handwashing-day/

 https://globalhandwashing.org/global-handwashing-day/about-ghd/

 https://www.askideas.com/50-best-global-hand-washing-day-2017-pictures-and-images/

 

Written by:

Dr. Afroze Fatima

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