For centuries, hand washing has been one of the cheapest means to achieve a clean bill of health and prevent contamination of bacterial from publicly used facilities and equipment. The reason for this is that we are surrounded by bacteria (in fact some live within us and help us survive, they are called good bacteria.) and harmful ones can be transmitted from person to person or from animal to person by physical contact with contaminated surfaces.
As human beings, we are in constant connection with our physical environment. This inevitability makes us prone to come in contact with disease causing bacteria and viruses. Thankfully, our immune systems are sometimes able to kill these disease causing agents but not all the time.
Washing of hands regularly is now seen as an effective means of reducing ones risk of developing illnesses caused by certain microorganisms.
One of the most likely places for bacteria to spread the bathroom. A single gram (that is roughly a teaspoon) of fecal matter contains about one trillion germs, with this you can imagine why the bathroom can be considered one of the epicenters of bacteria. A recent study shows that in a given state or country, over 90% of currency notes such as the naira in circulation can contain traces of fecal matter. Other common spots are Phones and accessories, doorknobs, handles of garbage cans etc.
It is clear that not only do we need to wash our hands regularly, but we also need to wash our hands THE RIGHT WAY!
These are some tips to follow in other to wash your hands properly.
- Turn on the tap and wet your hands for some seconds
- Apply hand wash or soap to both sides of your palm, make sure to form a nice thick leather
- Rub your palms together, focus on one side at a time
- Focus on both sides of your palms, in between your fingers and under your nails.
- You should do this for about 20 seconds or more.
- Rinse your hands thoroughly, make sure your hands are not slippery.
- Dry your hands with a towel or tissue paper. Air dry if available.
- Use a towel to turn of the tap.
We have a responsibility to ourselves, loved ones and our environment to maintain a high level of hygiene. The recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has made that so clear.
It is one thing to know how to wash your hands, it’s another thing to know when it is ideal to do so. However, you can wash your hands anytime you want but it is ideal to watch out for this scenarios;
- After using the toilet
- Before and after eating.
- Before, during and after preparing meals.
- After engaging in sanitary activities.
- After changing the diaper of a child.
- Before breast feeeding
- After taken care of a sick person.
- After handling dusty equipment’s.
- After work.
Washing your hands can go a long way in protecting you and preventing you from contracting harmful bacteria and viruses such as the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (CONVID – 19).