Today is Global Handwashing Day!

Every 15th of October is Global Handwashing Day – a day set aside to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their handwashing habits.

Hand washing hygiene is the act of cleaning hands for the purpose of removing soil, dirt, and microorganisms. Many germs that can make people sick are spread when we don’t wash our hands with soap and clean, running water.

Every time you touch an object or shake someone’s hand, you are probably picking up bacteria and potentially viruses too. We’re estimated to have around 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimetre of skin on our hands.

Below are 3 reasons why you should wash your hands regularly:

Reduce the bacteria content on your hands

Your hands and most especially your fingernails harbour all sorts of microorganisms. This is why you should take proper care of your nails by cutting and cleaning them regularly.

When you gnaw on your nails, these nasty bacteria end up in your mouth & gut, thus increasing the risk of developing gastrointestinal infections that lead to diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Avoidance of common eye infections:

Eye infections are commonly caused by the bacteria that get into the eyes from our hands. It would be great if you could refrain from touching your eyes with your bare hands. However, it usually happens involuntarily.

By keeping your hands clean you stand a greater chance of avoiding hand to eye bacteria transfer.

Some of the common eye infections that happen as a result of direct contact with different germs are: Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Keratitis, Stye and Blepharitis

All these infections start with similar symptoms: redness of the eye, mild pain, itching sensation, blurry vision and the like. Again, while these issues are not very difficult to treat, prevention is a much wiser course of action. You should never touch your eyes with unwashed hands and your handwashing needs to be thorough.

Prevention of diarrhoea
It is estimated that diarrhoea kills 2,195 children every day — more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined.

Diarrheal diseases account for 1 in 9 child deaths worldwide, making diarrhoea the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5.

According to a study, handwashing reduces diarrhoea episodes in both child day‐care centres in high‐income countries and among communities living in low and middle-income countries by about 30%.

source: guardian.ng

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