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Hand-washing: First Defense

Hand-washing: First Defense

  • October 17, 2019

It takes approximately 15 to 20 seconds to wash the hands properly but studies indicate that on an average a person takes not more than 6 seconds to do it. It is estimated that 95 % of people follow an improper hand washing technique.

Frequent hand washing is one of the most effective ways to eliminate germs and prevent diseases from spreading. Washing your hands with soap can prevent the transmission of several pathogens and is therefore more effective than any single vaccine.

​Hand washing with water and soap is one of the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent the spread of many kinds of pathogenic infections such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the major cause of mortality among children. Also, hand-washing with water and soap helps to avoid skin and eye infection and the spread of seasonal flu. There is no doubt that hand-washing is a simple and easy behaviour that can be practiced at all times and in any circumstances, whether at home, school or place of work, in addition to health facilities where clean hands prevent the spread of germs from one person to another, and in spite of that some people are careless about this behaviour.

The efficiency of hand washing depends on the right technique, run your hands under the tap water. Apply soap and rub them together (palm-to-palm) to make a lather. Now rub the right palm above the left hand with interwoven fingers (repeated the action with the other hand). Scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Rinse hands with water Dry thoroughly with towel

In the absence of soap and water, you can use a hand sanitizer. Opt for Alcohol based hand sanitizers as they are proven to be more effective in eliminating the number of microbes on hands. Take one or two squirts of the hand sanitizer in your palm Rub them together. Scrub also the front and back, between fingers, around and under nails Allow the hands to dry

On an average, a person touches his/her face almost 16 times in an hour. If your hands aren’t clean, diseases spread easily. Even though washing your hands gets rid of germs, there’s a right time and place to do it.

It is estimated that washing hands with soap at key times can reduce diarrhoea rates by over 40% and acute respiratory infections (ARI’s) by approximately 23%.

Children are extremely vulnerable to germs and infections’; hence instilling good health and hygiene habits from early childhood is a must. Encouraging them to wash their hands frequently will ensure that this practice turns into a lifelong routine.

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