Essay on Why Is It Needed To Wash Hands?

Published: 2021/11/24
Number of words: 724


Hands that are contaminated are home to a host of many microorganisms and infections are easily transmitted through them. Infectious diseases transmission can be controlled or prevented through routinely washing of hands. Specific methods need to be effected to ensure the effectiveness of hand washing (Borchgrevink et al. p. 19). The essay will seek to address the following; hand washing importance, methods used in appropriate hand washing, hand washing options in the short run and hand hygiene promotion.

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A myriad of microorganisms lurk in unwashed hands, and hand washing is an essential method for removing or reducing these pathogens. Essentially this would potentially decrease the likelihood of these microorganisms being transmitted to other individuals or surfaces where the transmission would be inevitable. Hand washing is also imperative since one would not be able to transmit these agents of infections to his/herself. Individuals who work in the healthcare sector are particularly encouraged to engage in habitual hand washing exercise. The setting in the health care system is not permissible for workers to have unwashed hands since this would be of great concern to patients who can easily be infected. Equally significant is the issue of children and hand washing. Hand washing among children is particularly important since it curtails the transmission of diseases such as common flu. Intestinal disorders, common cold, the flu and diarrhoea are some examples of illnesses that are predominantly transmitted via contact of hand to hand. These illnesses mainly affect those with reduced or compromised immune systems such as children and the elderly. Coronavirus (Covid-19), Salmonella and E.coli infection are added examples of diseases that result from washing hands inadequately or not washing them at all (Hutin et al. p. 50).

There is a standard way of washing hands worldwide recommended by leading organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The steps include; (1) washing of hands in running water, (2) applying soap or detergent on hands, (3) thoroughly rubbing hands together for 8 to 20 seconds, (4) thoroughly rinsing under running water and (5) dry with a clean towel. The steps to hand washing may seem and look simplistic, but in order for them to work, they must be adequately performed. Alternatively, instead of using soaps which are antiseptic and that might not be readily available on demand, researchers recommend the use of alcohol-based sanitizers. The convenience and availability of alcohol-based sanitizers make them an essential and vital weapon in the fight against infectious diseases such as the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), especially where soap and water are not easily accessible (Adhikari et al. p 1).

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There should be an address of the reasons behind non-compliance with good hygiene of the hands in order to promote the uptake of this imperative exercise. Non-compliance with hand hygiene mainly stems from substantial workload and deficiency of time. Workers in the healthcare sector are the ones that are mostly affected by the aforementioned reasons. To promote compliance with proper hand hygiene, the following should be done; hand sanitizer dispensers located conveniently, visual posters with a hand hygiene message posted conveniently and in as many sites as possible and awareness creation through education (McIntyre et al. p.150).

Hand washing exercise is every bit important for control of infections as it is for personal hygiene. Curtailing transmission of microorganisms and infections from person to person or on to surfaces will involve washing of hands after touching objects that are inanimate, body fluids, animals, washing glaringly dirty hands, after using the washrooms etc. Hand washing should be the rule, not the exception.

Work cited

Adhikari, Sasmita Poudel, et al. “Epidemiology, causes, clinical manifestation and diagnosis, prevention and control of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the early outbreak period: a scoping review.” Infectious diseases of poverty 9.1 (2020): 1-12.

Borchgrevink, Carl P., JaeMin Cha, and SeungHyun Kim. “Hand washing practices in a college town environment.” Journal of environmental health 75.8 (2013): 18-25.

Hutin, Yvan, Stephen Luby, and Christophe Paquet. “A large cholera outbreak in Kano City, Nigeria: the importance of hand washing with soap and the danger of street-vended water.” Journal of water and health 1.1 (2003): 45-52.

McIntyre, Lorraine, et al. “Evaluation of food safety knowledge, attitudes and self-reported hand washing practices in FOODSAFE trained and untrained food handlers in British Columbia, Canada.” Food Control 30.1 (2013): 150-156.

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