Washing hands with soap is key to health and hygiene

2017-10-12 06:01
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Sanitation is one of the basic necessities which contribute to human dignity and quality of life. It is an essential pre-requisite for success in the fight against poverty, hunger, child deaths, gender inequality and empowerment.

As the world celebrates annual Global Handwashing Day today, 15th of October, let us remember that by washing hands we do not only practice good hygiene standards but we are also eliminating the spread of water-borne diseases that can cause diarrhoea and other diseases while protecting those we come into contact with.

This is a global call to help improve the health of especially children which in turn improves their school attendance and academic performance.

The campaign is aimed at motivating and mobilising millions around the world to wash their hands with soap to reduce childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases.

The aim of the campaign is to:

•Promote a balanced national handwashing programming framework,

•Raise awareness of handwashing with soap as the most effective and inexpensive way to reduce the spread of disease,

•Reduce government expenditure on health (when less people contract communicable diseases, less money will be used by government to provide free vaccines),

•Support inter-sectoral approaches,

•Support community management through effective decentralisation,

•Also focus on sanitation, water quality and hygiene at the household level.

Diarrhoea, Cholera, Typhoid fever and trachoma are some of the diseases caused by bad hygiene practises. We can all fight these diseases by following six simple steps when washing our hands:

1.Wet hands and apply soap well then rub hands together

2.Rub the back of both hands

3.Interlace fingers and rub hands together

4.Interlock fingers and rub the back of fingers of both hands

5.Rub thumb in a rotating manner followed by the area between the index fingers and thumb for both hands

6.Rub fingertips on palm of both hands. Dry hands thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towel. While washing our hands with running water and soap, we also need to be mindful of our current water situation. Once again, this encourages us to do more with less.

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