Many Nigerians don’t realize how important an activity as simple as washing their hands can not only help them lead healthier lives, but also reduce drastically their hospital visits. To avoid contracting diseases like Diarrhoea, here are seven times when you absolutely must wash your hands:
- After toilet usage – While this may seem like a no brainer, many Nigerians simply do not remember to thoroughly wash their hands after using the toilet with soap. Furthermore, they do not realize how seriously this not doing so affects their health.
- Before touching or preparing food – The easiest way for bacteria to get in your food is through your hand. This is why washing your hands before cooking any meal, especially raw meat, vegetables and poultry, is an absolute must.
- When returning home from work or school – Research has proved that handwashing has cut down sick days for students in half. This fact is salient proof that washing hands helps children stay in school and indoctrinating them with this culture will help them live healthier lives when they become working adults.
- After contact with a sick person – Washing your hands helps build your antibiotic resistance especially when you have to come in contact with sick people. The CDC posits that 30% of diarrhea-related illnesses and about 20% of respiratory infections can be warded off by simply washing your hands especially after being in the same space with someone or people who may be ill.
- After playing (For Children) – It is notable to mention that about 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia yearly. This statistic is alarming, especially given the fact that washing hands with soap can protect children and improve child development. While telling children to wash their hands with soap is important, it is more instructive to participate in the activity with them regularly so it becomes ingrained in their minds.
- After handling pets – It is common knowledge that many pets carry germs which is why pet owners are more prone to contracting these germs. It doesn’t matter if you are just feeding, playing with, cleaning or just touching a pet, it is crucial that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap once you are done with the pet.
- After coughing or sneezing – Handwashing after coughing and sneezing is critical to keeping not only yourself but also those around you sickness free. Covering your mouth and nose after coughing and sneezing is only the first step to ensuring that the germs don’t spread. Washing your hands with soap is what actually combats the germs and ensures that your health is not in jeopardy.
In celebration of the World Hand Hygiene Day, Dettol took the Clean Naija initiative to the stalls of Ojuwoye Market, Mushin, where their newly commissioned hand wash site was launched by Funke Akindele, the health brand’s Ambassador. Funke preached the need for Women and Mothers, who mostly make up the population of traders at Ojuwoye market, to imbibe the habit of washing their hands thoroughly, especially since they touch the edible elements that go into homes and make up what the families eventually eat.