Leveraging the learnings from recent years, it is time to accelerate the hand hygiene progress!
October 15, Global Handwashing Day is a global advocacy day committed to raising awareness and understanding the significance of washing hands to decrease spread of diseases and save lives.
The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2022 is ‘Unite for Universal Hand Hygiene. It calls for coordinated action as we actively work towards universal hand hygiene.
Handwashing with soap and clean water is among the most adept and inexpensive ways to prevent diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which have taken the lives of millions all over the world.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, personal hygienic practices, especially handwashing with soap, was one of the most crucial life-preserving behaviours.
When to wash your hands?
Before learning handwashing steps, it is better to know how germs spread to highlight the importance of handwashing.
Germs are tiny living organisms that have the potential to cause threatening diseases. Germs include bacteria, viruses and fungi, among many others.
As far as handwashing is concerned, it is crucial to know how unwashed hands make it easy for germs to spread.
You should wash your hands thoroughly:
- After using the toilet
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Between handling raw and cooked or ready-to-eat food
- Before eating
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- Before and after attending to sick children or other family members
- After handling rubbish or working in the garden
- After handling animals
- When you get back home, go to other people’s homes, at venues or at work.
How To Wash Your Hands Correctly?
If hands are visibly dirty, washing hands with soap and water is recommended.
- Step 1: Wet hands with water
- Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces
- Step 3: Rub hands palm to palm
- Step 4: Right palm over the left hand, interlaced fingers and vice a versa
- Step 5: Palms to palms, fingers interlaced
- Step 6: Back of fingers
- Step 7: Rotational rubbing of left and right thumbs
- Step 8: Rotational rubbing on each palm
- Step 9: Rinse with water
- Step 10: Dry thoroughly with a clean towel
- Step 11: Use the towel to turn off the tap
Why is hand washing critical?
Many times, it is the smallest of things that make a bucketload of difference. Likewise, hand washing is one simple process that shields you against many health issues, some of which you are not even aware of.
There is a plethora of highly transmissible diseases. An appropriate washing of your hands can prevent many gastrointestinal diseases and respiratory infections.
Handwashing either with soap and water or using hand sanitisers not only kill the germs but also stop their spread that may transmit infections from one person to another.
It is only in times of pandemics that we come to know the importance of handwashing. But its perks are not only limited to the covid outbreak.
With proper handwashing, we can avert the occurrence of many diseases. Moreover, more than a practice, handwashing can become a good habit if it is imparted at a young age.
With just a few seconds of hand washing, we can protect ourselves from many preventable diseases.