HILIPSBURG–Collective Prevention Services (CPS) said on Monday that handwashing with soap is one of the most important public health interventions in the world.
Handwashing with soap is an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Handwashing must be practised at key times, such as before preparing food or eating, after using the toilet or sneezing. Behaviour change is an essential in prevention: turn action of washing hands a behavioural habit.
Handwashing with soap is among the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent these diseases. This simple behaviour can save lives, cutting diarrhoea by almost one-half and acute respiratory infections by nearly one-quarter. Handwashing with soap impacts not just health and nutrition, but also education, economics and equity.
Handwashing with soap improves health and saves lives by preventing infections (diarrhoea, pneumonia and acute respiratory infections, Ebola, skin and eye infections, intestinal worms and healthcare-associated infections).
Many infections start when hands are contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and viruses. This can happen after using the toilet, changing a child’s diaper, coughing, sneezing, touching other people’s hands, and touching other contaminated surfaces.
A single gram of human faeces can contain 10 million viruses and one million bacteria, and infant faeces are particularly pathogenic.
Handwashing with soap works by removing bacteria and viruses from hands before they get a chance to cause infections or spread to other people. This is why cleaning hands with soap, particularly after contact with faecal material from using the toilet or cleaning a child’s bottom, is so important.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/70631-cps-make-handwashing-a-habit-to-prevent-illness