A lot has been said about washing hands and your health. Here, we just want to emphasise on the topic.
Washing your hands appropriately and consistently greatly reduces your chances of getting sick and spreading the germs to others, hence reducing the number of hospital admissions, especially children below 5 years of age. As the old proverb goes, prevention is better than cure.
Diarrhoeal diseases are the leading cause of mortality in Developing countries like Kenya. Over 1.5 million children under 5 die each year as a result of Diarrhoea, making it the second most common cause of death for children under the age of 5 years worldwide. Many Bacteria and Viruses are spread easily and quickly through touch.
Effective hand washing keep at bay diarrhoeal diseases and viral infections like Flu. Therefore, washing our hands frequently can prevent these diseases, which in turn could reduce the number of deaths of children below the age of 5 years significantly.
How should you wash your hands?
Proper hand washing surprisingly just takes 40-60 seconds.
Step 1: Wet your hands with clean water.
Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover both hands.
Step 3: Rub your hands palm to palm and then in between your fingers. Sing ‘Happy Birthday to you’ twice to make sure you’re washing your hands for long enough.
Step 4: Rinse with clean running water.
Step 5: Dry your hands using a clean towel or paper towel.
Step 6: Turn off the tap with the towel.
Washing hands with soap and running water is the best way but if not available you can use alcohol based hand sanitizers. Note, sanitizers don’t eliminate all types of germs and are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
When should you wash your hands?
You should always wash your hands in the following situations.
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
Take home message- Wash Hands, Save lives!
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