October 15 ‘World Handwashing Day’

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The most effective precaution for a healthy life is to wash your hands with soap.  Photo: File
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The most effective precaution for a healthy life is to wash your hands with soap. Photo: File

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October 15 is celebrated around the world as “World Handwashing Day”. The purpose of this day is to highlight the importance of washing hands with soap in people, especially children, so that the habit of washing hands can be developed and various diseases can be prevented.

We know that hygiene is very important for a healthy life. Our religion has made its importance clear in such a way that cleanliness has been declared a part of faith. In many places in the Qur’an, physical as well as outward cleanliness has been emphasized. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allaah loves those who purify themselves” (al-Baqarah 2: 222)

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The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: Purity is a part of faith. (Muslim 223)

The Blessed Prophet is a practical example of purity and holiness.

The Corona epidemic has made it even more important to keep hands clean because keeping hands clean is an effective way to prevent the virus. During the epidemic, we learned to wash our hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds. So there are no viruses or germs left on it.

Keeping your hands clean helps protect against many diseases other than coronavirus. Of these, diarrhea, typhoid, stomach ailments and hepatitis A are particularly notable.

The focus of this hand-washing awareness campaign is on young boys and toddlers because children are the most energetic and active part of any society and they readily accept new ideas. Their hand hygiene practices can be changed quickly and easily.

Dangerous increase in infant mortality due to diarrhea / diarrhea / dysentery also requires that the habit of hand washing be developed in children to protect them from the above mentioned diseases which are many times less likely to be caused by washing hands only with soap. Can be done

According to a survey by the World Health Organization, 87% of drinking water in our country is not clean and is very harmful to health. Poor hygiene and general indifference to hygiene are the main causes of diarrhea.

Unfortunately, more than 20 million children in Pakistan suffer from this disease every year and an estimated 2.5 million children die. The reason for the increase in mortality among children is that older people can get rid of these diseases by making up for the lack of water and keeping in view the principles of hygiene, but younger children who are aware of the principles of hygiene. There is no proper awareness about the use of clean water, they fall prey to these deadly diseases. Therefore, children are given central importance in this awareness campaign.

Diarrhea is caused by a variety of germs. These germs, which are produced from human waste, enter the human body by eating food with contaminated water or contaminated hands. The most effective and easiest way to prevent this disease is to keep your hands sterile, use clean water and wash your hands thoroughly with soap before eating.

Due to the lack of both proper education and awareness in rural areas, diseases like diarrhea, typhoid, stomach ailments and hepatitis (A) are very common and severe in these areas. People with these diseases first have abdominal pain, convulsions, frequent bowel movements, and yellowing of the eyes.

Whenever an individual or a child has such symptoms, the heirs should contact their nearest health center immediately. Sometimes just looking at these diseases as trivial can make them look extremely deadly and later their treatment becomes just as difficult and expensive. Therefore, it is important not to delay treatment after these symptoms.

In general, these diseases affect people of all ages equally, but in children in particular, the effects are severe. The more deadly these diseases are, the easier it is to protect them, primarily health in daily life. And the most important thing is to keep in mind the principles of cleanliness and awareness about it.

We should take care of this ourselves and also urge the children to wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds in the following cases:

1. After leaving the toilet
2. Before eating
3. Before helping to prepare, distribute or prepare food
4. After the hands look clearly dirty
5. After coughing or sneezing in the hands
6. After returning home

In addition, it is very important to use boiled drinking water and always keep the drinking water covered.

There are many international and national guidelines for hand washing procedures. The National Institutes of Health in Pakistan have also published these guidelines. According to him, washing hands ensures complete elimination of germs on them. The procedure is as follows:

1. Soap your hands well.
2. Rub both palms well with the other hand.
3. Clean alternately by rubbing the fingers of both hands against the back
4. Clean the fingers together.
5. Clean the thumbs by twisting them with the palm.
6. Rub the back of the closed fingers with the palm.

Washing hands often leaves the tips of the fingers, the palms of the hands and the thumbs clean. Particular attention should be paid to cleaning these parts.

There is no denying the importance of hygiene for hygiene and our religion teaches us this. Therefore, it is important to promote the culture of hand hygiene and use of clean water in all cities of Pakistan, especially in rural areas. To this end, public awareness campaigns should be launched at government and non-government levels so that a healthy society can be established through health and hygiene.

(Dr. Abdul Aziz Memon is a dermatologist and former president of Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) Sindh.)

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