Hand washing is now ingrained in our culture. At every educational level, hand washing and other hygienic practices are taught, promoted, and emphasized during medical training. “Hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection,” states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States.
We acquire germs on our hands throughout the day from a variety of sources, including direct contact with other people, contaminated surfaces, food, and even animals and their waste. The common cold, the flu, and several gastrointestinal conditions like infectious diarrhea are examples of infectious diseases that are frequently transmitted through hand-to-hand contact.
The flu can be much more serious than a common cold, which most people will recover from. Pneumonia can occur in some flu patients, particularly the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions. Pneumonia and the flu are the eighth leading causes of death in the United States.
One in every five deaths of children under the age of five worldwide is attributed to pneumonia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, hand washing is advised to prevent this deadly disease.
Every day, curable diseases cause the deaths of more than 27, 000 children under the age of five in developing nations. An estimated 2 million children suffer from pneumonia and other respiratory infections each year. The majority of those who pass away are under the age of one year.
According to a study that was published in The Lancet, hand washing with soap can reduce the number of pneumonia-related infections in children under the age of five by more than 50%. The first field study to demonstrate that hand washing can aid in the prevention of pneumonia was carried out in Pakistan by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and P&G Beauty, a division of The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G).
In low-income communities with environments that are highly polluted, the purpose of the study was to assess the health benefits of increasing the amount of soap used for hand washing. Over one year beginning in March 2003, it was carried out on more than 900 squatter settlement households. A consistent supply of soap was provided to approximately 600 households; Half received antibacterial soap, and half received plain soap. School supplies were provided to a control group of 300 households.
The aftereffects of the examination showed that the frequency of sickness didn’t contrast altogether between families given plain cleanser versus antibacterial cleanser. The primary factor in disease prevention is the mechanical action of vigorously washing one’s hands with soap to remove dirt and pathogens.
It’s essential to take note that analysts didn’t anticipate seeing any benefit in utilizing antibacterial cleansers against pneumonia.
In addition, over a year, researchers compared the effects of washing one’s hands frequently with soap in 900 households. While 300 households served as a control group and received school supplies, approximately 600 households received either regular or antibacterial soap.
To encourage better hygiene, weekly visits were made to the homes. When compared to the control group, the families are given soap and those who meticulously washed their hands saw a 50% reduction in pneumonia cases. The study demonstrated that proper hand washing can significantly improve children’s health and save their lives worldwide.
Remarkable improvements in health, sanitation, and disease control are possible by washing one’s hands frequently. Hand washing doesn’t take a lot of time or exertion, yet it offers extraordinary compensations as far as forestalling sickness.
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