Every year since 2008, October 15 when Global Handwashing Day was introduced to reduce child mortality rates around the world, it is celebrated as Global Handwashing Day to increase awareness about the importance of washing hands. Global Handwashing Week provides a platform to design creative ways to encourage people to take up washing hands with soap as a routine practice.
Thus Global Handwashing Week aims to draw attention towards the state of handwashing around the world, raise awareness about handwashing in order to create a global handwashing culture. Every year various local communities and national leaders around the world spend time demonstrating the importance of handwashing and organizing campaigns for the same.
Handwashing helps prevent diarrhea and acute respiratory diseases. It is known to prevent diarrhea by 30% and respiratory diseases by 21% in toddlers. It is estimated that incorporating handwashing in day to day lives can work better than a single vaccine or medical intervention, around the globe. Handwashing Week is also used to spread awareness about sanitation along with the importance of handwashing, thus with the core aim of controlling the spread of diseases as much as possible. Thus, WASH(water, sanitation and hygiene) programmes are incorporated into the Handwashing initiatives. The date for Global Handwashing Week was picked by UN General Assembly while declaring 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation.
Germs spread easily through hands, by touching dirty surfaces, shaking hands, contaminated food and water and coming in contact with sick person’s fluids. It is thus necessary to clean our hands regularly, particularly before eating anything, in order to avoid diseases. Thus, as it acts the first defence against infectious diseases. The small children are the most affected by this.
Hands should be washed in all the below-mentioned cases:
- Before eating
- After using the toilet
- Before cooking
- Before and after attending to sick persons
- After touching any animal
- After working on the fields
- After smoking
Method to correctly wash hands
Step 1: Wet hands with clean water
Step 2: Apply soap and work up a lather
Step 3: Rub hands together for about 20 seconds
Step 4: Clean the back of hands and the area between fingers.
Step 5: Clean the nails and any dirt stuck in them.
Step 6: Wash off the soap and dirt with clean water.
Step 7: Dry hands using a towel, paper towel or blow dryer.
Using running water is better as standing water gets contaminated. Also, hot water cleans better than cold water. Soap should be used in all the above-mentioned cases. Liquid soap is more hygienic than bar soap and fights off diseases better.
It is thus understood that a simple act of washing hands can go a long way in fighting off infections. This works particularly well in the case of toddlers, thus reducing infant mortality rates to a great rate!
This write-up has been contributed by Credihealth content team:
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