Some people poke their nose with their fingers, others scratch skin, hair, armpit and ‘you know where’! Some pick dirt, others sneeze, cough and spit into their hands while most people shake every Tom, Dick, Harry and Seyi!
Can u imagine the speed and spread of germs from one activity to the other? And yet to think that just by washing your hands, you can save yourself endless hospital visits and illness.
Germs can be transmitted by touching dirty hands, changing dirty diapers, through contaminated water and food, during a cough or a sneeze, via contaminated surfaces and through contact with a sick person’s body fluids. When you come into contact with germs, you can unknowingly become infected simply by touching things and people.
Good hand washing is the first line of defence against the spread of many illnesses, from the common cold to more serious illnesses such as meningitis, bronchiolitis, influenza, hepatitis A, and most types of infectious diarrhoea.
So it makes good sense to always wash your hands before and after preparing food, before eating especially before and immediately after handling raw meat, poultry or fish, after blowing your nose, after coughing or sneezing into your hands, before and after treating wounds or cuts, before and after touching a sick or injured person, after handling garbage, before inserting or removing contact lenses, when using public restrooms such as those in airports, train stations, bus stations and restaurants, after using the toilet, after touching animals or animal waste and after changing a diaper — wash the diaper-wearer’s hands, too!
Water alone cannot kill the germs. We must use water and soap.
Globally, this hygienic behaviour has been shown to cut the number of child deaths from diarrhoea by almost half and from pneumonia by one-quarter.
Think about this; the next time you poke your nose, touch your toes, scratch your neck, shake a friend, pick a book or slam a door –you may have those very tiny ‘james & john’ stuck within the ridges of your hands. GO WASH!
Let’s join the October 15, Global Hand washing Day which is designed to motivate and mobilize millions around the world to wash their hands with soap as a key approach to disease prevention.
It’s more than a fad; it’s a healthy life for you and me when we wash our hands often, thoroughly and in the right way.
Sandra Oma Etubiebi