“Let’s all pledge towards a better tomorrow by correcting our mistakes of today”
Understanding the risks
Dawdling over while tackling this humungous problem and calling it a petty issue, is just like evidencing a 30 foot python closing in on you and doing nothing except close your eyes thinking it would just pass by. No! It won’t and proportionately, this hand washing problem also won’t solve itself. Understanding the ramifications of dilly dallying over this matter is indispensable to taking better and informed decisions in the future.
Not washing hands is in itself not a threat but a multitude of microorganisms that latch on to our hands are surely a problem. These findings aren’t floating around on thin air but are rather based upon tangible facts that have been seconded by continuous studies throughout the years.
Most of the people residing in developed countries believe that everybody around the world has access to same facilities and amenities, wary of the fact that around a whopping 780 million people don’t have access to even clean water.
Now contemplate on this fact and think how they would be able to wash hands if they can’t drink clean water? There are a lot of gastro enteral diseases that spread by contaminated water leading to life threatening conditions. At times, epidemics like that of cholera and typhoid in developing countries are solely due to contaminated water and food.
Realizing the importance
Practicing good hand hygiene is as important to us as it is to others around us. Because germs work in collaboration with each other and multiply exponentially when given a chance, it’s important for us to work as a team too. Each household should realize the importance of maintaining hand hygiene.
For starters, the centers for disease control and prevention recommends washing hands with a bar soap and water for 20 seconds and then drying them off. Bacteria and viruses love to latch on your epidermal layer and if given opportunity, can enter our body through a healing cut or crack in the skin. If our immune system is not working just fine, even little loads of bacteria can prove to be really harmful for our body.
Because germs are everywhere around us and can’t be seen by naked eyes, we unintentionally pick a variety of microbes throughout our day. If we are not observing a proper hygiene routine, we might end up being victims of fomite transmission. An average person touches his/her face hundreds of time in a day and it’s enough for those Nano-bacterium to get into your nostrils without you even noticing. All the bravado and unbreakable courage goes out the window once your immune system loses to these unseen invaders making you crawl back into your bed. Therefore, it’s very important to take the best possible care when it comes to keeping our hands clean.
No soap and water?
What to do when there is no soap and water? Many people ask this question that it’s only usual to practice hand hygiene at the very best when we are out and about because when travelling on a subway, one surely doesn’t have access to water. Well, for such cases you can use a hand sanitizer that is made up of at least 70% isopropyl alcohol as recommended by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
How to wash hands properly?
You can follow these hand wash steps for a proper clean up:
- First of all wet your hands under running tap water.
- Next, apply some hand wash liquid or bar soap whatever you prefer on your palms. Be sure to close the tap meanwhile.
- Rub both palms together until you see proper lather. If you are using hard water then there will be little lather formation so don’t worry about that.
- Do this for 5 seconds and then rub your left hand dorsum with your right hand fingers in between inter digital spaces of right left hand.
- Do the same with the dorsum of right hand. Invest 5 seconds on dorsum of both hands.
- Then make circles on the palm of your left hand with finger tips of your right hand and repeat the same method on the palm of your right hand.
- Focus on the thumbs of each hand and last but not the least, rub your wrists with fingers of the opposing hand shaped in a circle like fashion.
- After you are done with all this, open the tap again and wash your hands under running water.
- This would not only kill germs but also knock them off your hands. Don’t let the tap running because you can’t be extravagant about water expenditure.
Global hand washing day 2020
This Global hand washing day is celebrated on the 15th of October and strictly serves as a reminder of all the steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of germs. Collective efforts should be made on a global scale to instil the importance of this act throughout institutions, facilities, and populations at large. Every problem in the World needs targeted awareness campaigns and by celebrating this day, we not only spread the word but also make this world a little bit safer.
Dettol has been at the forefront of this campaign since the beginning and has been propagating the use of hygiene products such as Dettol hand wash by distributing them to the deserving.
This year’s theme is “hand hygiene for all” and focuses specially on the inadequate distribution of basic necessities to the underprivileged. There is a large part in every country that has been generalized and struggles to find their worth within a community, it is especially important to identify and then focus on such groups, when it comes to matter of health and hygiene.
In 2020, World health Organization (WHO) aims to make hand hygiene a top priority, globally. The organization also wishes to influence people to adopt a healthy behaviour change by engaging with health care workers on micro and macro scales.
It has been found out that those communities that take hand washing seriously and have implemented the instructions in the truest form have been successful in curbing the spread of different germs. In such communities, about 23-40% of people are less likely to get sick with diarrhea, about 29-57% reduction in absenteeism in school children is observed, about 58% reduction was seen in people with weakened immune systems getting affected by diarrheal diseases, and a general reduction of about 16-21% was observed in people affected by respiratory infections.
These statistics are enough to convince anyone with a sane mind and who is generally good at heart to practice good hand hygiene himself/herself and ask others to do the same.
Now, More than Ever…
The recent outbreak of SARS-COV 2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) characterized as a pandemic by World Health Organization in March 2020, has taught us a lot about the importance of washing hands. We need to emphasize on this crucial matter by addressing the challenges associated in an appropriate manner. All the hurdles should be mapped out properly before devising a plan relevant to the interventions required. We all need to work as one team in order to spread awareness among masses around the world.
If you too are a hand hygiene enthusiast and have ideas that can prevent the spread of germs, then we ask you to step forward and play your role.
You are open to send us your suggestions and recommendations, whatever you feel like so that “we can build together a healthy World for us and for generations to come”.