Hand washing for hand hygiene is the act of cleaning one’s hands with or without the use of water or another liquid, or with the use of soap, for the purpose of removing soil, dirt, and/or microorganisms.
Helps minimize the spread of influenza
Diarrhoea and Lassa fever prevention
Avoiding respiratory infections
A preventive measure for infant deaths at their home-birth-deliveries
Improved hand washing practices have been shown to lead to small improvements in the length growth in children under five years of age.
It has cut the number of child deaths from diarrhoea (the second leading cause of child deaths) by almost half and from pneumonia (the leading cause of child deaths) by one-quarter.
It’s important to wash hands:
First: Rinse hands with warm water, keeping hands below wrists and forearms, to prevent contaminated water from moving from the hands to the wrists and arms. Use warm water, this helps to open pores, removal of microorganisms, without removing skin oils.
Next use about five millilitres of liquid soap, to completely cover the hands, and rub wet, soapy hands together, outside the running water, for at least 20 seconds.
Pay attention to commonly missed areas like the thumb, the wrist, the areas between the fingers, and under fingernails. Artificial nails and chipped nail polish are known to harbour microorganisms.
Rinse thoroughly, from the wrist to the fingertips to ensure that any microorganisms fall off the skin rather than onto skin.
One should use a paper towel to turn off the water. Dry hands and arms with a clean towel, disposable or not, and use a paper towel to open the door.
Moisturizing lotion is often recommended to keep the hands from drying out; Dry skin can lead to skin damage which can increase the risk for the transmission of infection.
Use of antiseptic rub: Enough hand antiseptic or alcohol rub must be used to thoroughly wet or cover both hands. The front and back of both hands and between and the ends of all fingers are rubbed for approximately 30 seconds until the liquid, foam or gel is dry.