Save your life, wash your hands!

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The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is on a mission to promote health and hygiene through the washing of hands. The culture of washing of hands with soap is critical in these trying times when we are faced with a pandemic of a virus that is transferrable by droplets from the mouth as well as from the hands. As a result, the washing of hands is a matter of importance and can literally determine the difference between life and death.

The month of October is celebrated as Sanitation Month on an annual basis. The Sanitation Campaign is a bid to inculcate citizens to constantly and properly wash their hands with water and soap to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. Covid-19 is on the top of the list of these contagious diseases. It should be kept in mind that washing of hands with soap is not just a preventative measure against Covid-19 but for a range of different illnesses as well. Handwashing can prevent the transmission of a variety of pathogens and may be more effective to prevent sickness even more than any single vaccine.

We have been urged to wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and there are six basic steps to be followed in the process of effectively washing hands, namely:

Step 1:  Wet hands and apply soap well then rub hands together;

Step 2:  Rub the back of both hands;

Step 3:  Interlace fingers and rub hand together;

Step 4:  Interlock fingers and rub the back of fingers on both hands;

Step 5: Rub thumbs in a rotating manner followed by the area between index fingers and thumb for both hands;

Step 6: the final step is to rub fingertips on palm for both hands, rinse the soap and wipe with a paper towel or clean towel.

These 6 simple steps should be used especially after using the toilet so as to prevent diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid fever and trachoma.

Human beings use their hands throughout the day which increases exposure to viruses which can lead to illnesses. Therefore, frequent washing of hands with water and soap can prevent the transference of these viruses to our friends, families and acquaintances. The regular washing of our hands ensures better health for all.