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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Washing hands may help with diarrhea prevention and infection management, according to experts


A pound of cure is worth an ounce of prevention. This was realized during the chaotic pandemic period, when properly washing hands was the most fundamental precaution demanded by the government and healthcare agencies. However, hygiene has always fallen behind in the majority of nations, leading to the WHO's recognition of WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) as a universal human right and its inclusion in the global Sustainable Development Goals.

The situation of WASH in India is steadily improving, but there is still more need for development and a stronger awareness campaign. India had a 7.5% increase in mortality from diarrhea, malaria, and other tropical illnesses between 2010 and 2013, and more than 1.32 crore cases of acute diarrheal sickness were reported there in 2019. The available information is sufficient to demonstrate how crucial it is for us to include hygiene habits like hand washing into our daily life as efficient preventative strategies.

Almost all of the activities we do during the day include using our hands. The key to keeping them clean is to wash them thoroughly. And practicing good hygiene has never caused damage to anybody! Unknowingly or intentionally, we come into touch with a number of germs that may spread a variety of diseases and uncomfortable symptoms including diarrhea. The most cost-effective way to prevent a variety of illnesses, including pneumonia, diarrhea, and more, is to wash your hands. We use our hands to make food, consume it, touch a public area, touch and handle items that many other people have touched before, cure wounds, take care of the sick, and do a lot more things. The need of washing your hands was widely publicized as a result of the epidemic, but were we serious about it? UNICEF claims that individuals seldom use restrooms for personal hygiene, particularly males. To raise awareness for significant advances in this direction, there is a critical need for interventions that modify behavior and have an influence on politics.

diarrhea and hand washing

Diarrhoea is brought on by germs including Salmonella, norovirus, and E. coli O157. These are also significant sources of human or animal waste. They have the ability to transmit respiratory illnesses including adenovirus and hand, foot, and mouth disease. When using the restroom or engaging in any other activity, people's hands may quickly get contaminated with the bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that community handwashing instruction may decrease diarrheal problems among those with weakened immune systems by around 58%. Each year, pneumonia and diarrheal illnesses claim the lives of almost 1.8 million kids under the age of five. These are the main causes of children dying throughout the globe.

What do the facts show?

According to research, almost 2.3 people don't have access to soap and water for washing their hands at home. For kids, such a lack of amenities is really concerning. There aren't many soap and water handwashing stations in half of the schools. Approximately 802 million children who attend school are impacted by this. Additionally, there aren't enough restrooms with basic amenities like soap and water for handwashing at locations with medical services. These areas are quite likely to be contaminated with viral germs and other diseases. If adequate hygiene standards are not maintained here, significant effects, including deadly ones, may occur.

keeping up with hand hygiene

It is everyone's obligation to be aware of the crucial times and amount of time for hand washing. To convey the word as far as possible, hand hygiene awareness programs need to be established in the family and community. Distributing health education materials and hand-washing supplies should be done at educational institutions and distant places. Resources include things like sanitizers, soap, and other things. It's Global Handwashing Day on October 15. Schools may host a variety of events and artistic contests, such as poster competitions, to emphasize the need of good hand hygiene. As a responsible citizen, you may help the good cause by raising awareness via podcasts, social media hashtags, films, and other innovative activities.

Monitoring change via the provision of services and the advancement of policy

For the purpose of creating handwashing policies, strategies, and action plans, the government and healthcare authorities may collaborate. In terms of population right now, India is practically in first place. As a result, it is difficult to raise awareness in every part of the nation. I appreciate digitalization! Digitization is a global phenomenon that may affect everything. Effective communications on governmental and healthcare websites may have a significant impact. The key to attaining this objective is to ensure that the most disadvantaged groups can access services.

If you don't plan, you're intending to fail. In order to take action for healthy residents, a nation with a great deal of variety requires stringent measures to overcome conventional beliefs, social stigma, and financial problems. Due to poor hygiene, children suffer more than anybody else. Their bodies are not prepared for such circumstances, and their youth and frailty make fighting much harder for them. The first step in protecting kids from a variety of ailments is to keep them clean and promote good hygiene practices in them.


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