Global Hand Washing Day was celebrated earlier this week, on the 15th of October with the theme ‘Raise A Hand For Hygiene’
How many of us can confidently raise our hands for hygiene these days? Last year and some parts of this year when the Ebola scourge was at its highest, people became very hygiene-conscious. People washed their hands often and on, used hand sanitizers when they could not wash their hands and were generally careful about what and who they touched. Alas! A couple of months after we were declared malaria-free, it’s back to business as usual now for most people.
How many people still wash their hands after using the toilets now? Some people believe it’s only important to wash hands after passing out faeces but not necessarily when they urinate. How many times do you wash your hands before eating or before cooking or before picking up a new baby? How many times do you cough or sneeze into your hands and then proceed to shake people with the same hands…thereby passing on your germs to them? The ways and means by which we pass on germs by not washing our hands are too numerous to count and so I wonder about how many of us can really raise our hands for hygiene at this time.
Just before the end of the work-week, 2 new cases of Ebola were announced in Guniea. If the same were said for Nigeria, would you say that your hygiene measures at this time are sufficient to withstand your getting infected? Well let’s give you a reminder class on when to wahs your hands and how to wash your hands:
Mums wash your hands before you make your baby’s/family’s food, after you change baby’s diaper, after you blow your nose, after cleaning etc. You can also use a sanitizer if it is not possible to was your hands at that time.
Remember that sanitizers are only useful for hands that are not visibly dirty. For visibly dirty hands, you’ve got to wash!
Also remember that when choosing the sanitizer, look for products that have up to 60 percent alcohol and ensure that when you use it, you rub until your hands are dry.
We should ensure that we teach children and indeed remind ourselves to wash hands after playing or doing stuff outside the house, before eating, after using the toilet, after playing with pets or disposing of their wastes (in fact children should not be encouraged to play too close to their kennels or sheds), before cooking and even after handling dirty laundry!
Tips for effective hand washing: wet your hands with water, apply soap, then scrub thoroughly paying attention to your nail beds, in between fingers, palms and back of hands. Then rinse thoroughly before drying your hands.
Remember that clean hands, save lives!