Ever been at a public event and garden eggs and groundnuts were passed around and several people with unwashed hands run their hands all over the items in an attempt to select the best pair before they get to you?
Hmmm….. ever watched a friend finish wiping his nose and offer you a handshake with the unwashed hand? Now, you are getting the picture. Let’s take an imaginary walk into a fast food joint and imagine you bought a drink.
The pack of straw is passed to the person before you and in a clumsy attempt at picking one, he runs his hands over nearly three-quarters of the straws in the pack.
Your mind goes gaga and you begin to wonder what those hands were been up to and whether they were washed afterward? Oh yeah, a million naira for your thoughts or would you rather have the Benjamins?
The hands of the average Nigerian dey try wella. From picking the nose and teeth to assisting in peeing and often used in scratching of some covered parts of the anatomy. But after all these, what happens to the hands? Do they get washed?
Tough call…a tall order, you may say. It’s actually amazing how few people wash their hands after using the toilet. Statistically, only 7 percent of women and 15 percent of men wash their hands at all after using the restroom.
Even when hand washing is performed, one in three persons don’t use soap and only 5 percent of people wash their hands correctly. People often only wash their palms.
October 15 is designated and celebrated as Global Hand Washing Day. It is a day set aside for increasing awareness and understanding the importance of hand washing with soap worldwide. Washing the hands with soap to keep it clean is adjudged one of the most effective and inexpensive ways of preventing diseases. It significantly reduces deaths, especially from diarrhea disease.
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Good hand washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet is said to be able to save more lives than any single vaccine.
The theme for this year’s global hand washing day is ‘Clean hands – a recipe for health’. It seeks to focus on the links between hand washing and food including food hygiene and nutrition.
Effective and regular hand washing has numerous benefits which include reducing illnesses, freeing monies that would have been spent on medical bills and reducing lost work hours and school absences. Thousands of school and work days are missed every year due to avoidable illnesses that are preventable.
Ideally, hands should be washed before touching food and eating, after using the toilet or restroom, after touching animals and after visiting sick people. This list is obviously not exhaustive. Proper hand washing involves the use of soap and hands washed preferably with running water. The process should last for between twenty seconds to one minute and both the front and back of your hands should be washed as well as between the fingers and under the nails.
Hand washing is ebeano. The time spent at the sink could save you money and trips to the doctor’s office. Collect sense and do the needful.