Hand hygiene is one important public health measure, as this is required to interrupt transmission of diarrhea pathogens. Diarrhoeal diseases are one of the leading causes of child death around the world . World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises the spread of diarrhoeal diseases as a serious global problem.
Can you believe each year there are more than 2.2 million lives lost due to these infections, more than from malaria, HIV/AIDS and measles combined .Keeping this in mind recent hygiene promotion campaigns target the low income strata recommending soap use for Hand washing. This is recognized as a crucial step in preventing foodborne disease transmission by mitigating crosscontamination among hands, surfaces, and foods.
Shockingly majority of these deaths are in children under 5 years of age. Hand washing awareness is focused on children as the attributable disease burden is concentrated in that age group. The interventions which succeed in changing children’s handwashing practices will lead to significant health impacts.
Handwashing with non-antibacterial soap is much more effective in removing bacteria from hands than handwashing with water only. Although handwashing with water alone reduced the presence of bacteria on hands substantially.
Test results positive for bacteria of potential faecal origin were more common in people frequently shaking hands, reporting soil contact or those scoring low on a hygiene.
Don’t confuse too much over the more effective method of getting rid of bacteria, as always water and soap appear to be the most effective, than the waterless products for removal of soil and microorganisms from hands. Alcohol-based products achieve rapid and effective inactivation of various bacteria, but they are not effective lower against nonenveloped viruses. Food debris significantly affects the microbial inactivation rate of hand sanitizers.
Efficacy of the alcoholic hand saitiser can be improved to some extent by omitting the preceding hand wash and by awaiting the evaporation of the alcohol. It has been described that a 1 min simple hand wash reduces artificial contamination of hands by several folds.
To prevent Ebola transmission, frequent handwashing is recommended in Ebola Treatment Units and communities to avoid spread. Several more diseases are controlled by good hygiene which includes E.Coli, Salmonella, Giardiasis,Hepatitis A are a few to mention.
Dr. HEMA SATHISH M.B.B.S., (UK)
Cosmetic Dermatologist | Sanche Cosmetic Centre
DEVADOSS MULTI SPECIALITY HOSPITAL