Hand washing is thought to be effective for the prevention of transmission of
Diarrhea pathogens. However it is not conclusive that hand washing with soap is more
Effective at reducing contamination with bacteria associated with diarrhea than using
How many times has someone told you: “Go wash your hands before dinner?”
|Image: Shree Dharmodaya Lower secondary School Mirkot-5, Gorkha District|
Why is hand washing important?
Some microorganism are beneficial to you and some are harmful. The most common microorganism is bacteria. Microorganisms can be transmitted from person to person in many ways.
Bacteria are a diverse group of microscopic, single celled organisms. Viruses are microscopic and infect cells using the cells as hosts for reproduction. Both bacteria and viruses can cause disease in humans. However, bacteria and viruses exist in the environment all around us and most do not harm people. A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease around the world. Scientists and health professionals
are concerned about the possibility of an H1N1 influenza (flu) pandemic. When a flu pandemic
happens, people may have little or no immunity, and a vaccine may not exist for this new flu virusThe disease then spreads easily person‐to‐person and may cause serious illness across the country
and around the world very quickly. A vaccine is currently being tested for the H1N1 influenza.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common method
that pathogens are spread is via the hands. Therefore, proper hand hygiene helps to limit the spread of the flu and other infectious diseases, and is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of disease. Hand washing reduces diseases that are spread through fecal–oral or hand‐to‐mouth transmission, direct or indirect transmission(i.e., close contact by sharing personal items), and respiratory or airborne transmission (i.e., coughing or sneezing).
Micro-organisms play an important role in all our lives and many are so small they can only be seen
under a microscope. Many micro-organisms are helpful to us whilst others can be harmful; micro-organisms that harm humans tend to be referred to as germs. These germs can be a bacteria, fungi and
Germs mainly enter the home on people, food, in contaminated water or via pets and pests. Once inside
the home they can be transferred from person to person or from the source to a person by direct contact,
or through indirect contact via a surface and back again. This latter process is often called cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination is one of the greatest causes of illness and disease in the world, where a greater
focus on the practice of improved and targeted hygiene measures in the home could lead to a reduction
in infectious diseases on a global scale. Improved home hygiene strategies include:
• The need for home hygiene to receive the same scientific approach generally applied to hospitals
or food manufacturing
• The recognition that good hygiene is not about trying to completely rid a home of germs, but
about effectively implementing good hygiene measures or practices and using them in the right
place at the right time
• The distinction in people’s minds about the difference between removing dirt and hygienic
Why is hand washing so important?
The hands are one of the greatest ways cross-contamination and cross-infection can occur in the home.
Hand washing is therefore the single most important thing you can do to help reduce the spread of
infections. Regularly washing your hands properly with antibacterial soap and warm water can help
protect you, your family, and others against the risk of infection. If antibacterial soap and warm water are
not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used.
Why is surface cleaning so important?
Pathogenic micro-organisms and fungal spores entering the home can survive on surfaces for significant
periods of time and can be transferred to the hands when touched. Germs from hands can then be
transferred to other surfaces and other people, leading to infection. To break this chain of infection,
household surfaces should be cleaned thoroughly with an antibacterial cleanser or disinfectant on a
regular basis, reducing the risk of cross-contamination and lowering the risk of illness.
Why is food hygiene so important?
The micro-organisms that cause food-borne illness can be spread directly onto chopping boards, utensils,
work tops and other foods from raw meat and vegetables during food preparation. These micro-organisms can then spread to other surfaces around the home via your hands. Once one person is
infected with food-borne micro-organisms, it’s highly likely that they will pass this onto others in your
home and community, particularly if hygiene practice is poor. In order to prevent cross-contamination,
surfaces and utensils that are used to make and prepare raw food, particularly poultry and meat, should
be thoroughly cleaned with an antibacterial cleanser or disinfectant after each use.
|Children Involving in Praggmatic Procedure of Handwashing|