Handwashing a necessity to fight COVID-19

Hands are responsible for an increase of about 80 percent of common epidemics, it is found that only 30 percent of people have awareness of the benefits of handwashing

Handwashing a necessity to fight COVID-19

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, with the expeditious upsurge in coronavirus cases, personal hygiene and sanitation have become imperative facets of our life. Unsanitary and deleterious objects can have adverse reverberations on the well-being of the citizens. In order to become hale and hearty, one has to endorse robust hygiene practices like bathing, hand washing, flossing the teeth, trimming the nails and putting on the clean outfit.

Amidst these safe practices, hand washing has become an indispensable aspect of the survival of the human beings. Owing to this, the government of Pakistan and the world has manifested the exuberance and zeal to go the extra mile by issuing various advisories and recommended measures.

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In accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO), hand hygiene is explicated as the act of washing the hands for the obliteration of microbes, and pathogens. Literally, the proposition of handwashing was fashioned by Ignaz Semmelweis known for the pioneer of antiseptic procedures about one hundred fifty-two years ago.

Furthermore, handwashing with antiseptic soap or medicated hand sanitizer can abate the proliferation of detrimental disorders like diarrhea, gastroenteritis, pediculosis, and food poisoning. In the opinion of health wizards, this simple act of handwashing can minimize any kind of respiratory illness by 21 percent respectively. Indeed, one can appraise the significance of handwashing from such corresponding data.

Regrettably, we reside in a state where there is a paucity of cognizance among masses apropos hand hygiene. A little while back, the survey was conducted to assess the hand washing practices among literate adults in the metropolitan city of Karachi, Pakistan. The findings of the evaluation were comparatively dismaying for the health practitioners and the general public.

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Regardless of the fact that the hands are responsible for an escalation of the 80 percent of common epidemics, only 30 percent of people were acquainted with the pernicious repercussions owing to deprivation of hand hygiene.

Besides this, there is a dearth of handwashing facilities in shopping plazas, educational institutions, medical centers, and roadside cafes. On the other hand, food restaurants in megacities do not comply with health and safety parameters despite the fact that hands cross-contamination can engender foodborne diseases.

In addition, hand hygiene has been cited as a prime strategy for the decimation of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) which includes resistant microorganisms such as vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and multidrug-resistant (MDR) gram-negative bacteria.

Furthermore, it has been scientifically validated too that washing hands perfectly is more efficacious than medication, and immunization. Over and above, this simple practice values nothing but rescue the national economy by protecting the wellbeing of white-collar workers, executives, and business tycoons. Thus, one cannot deny the significance of handwashing as best hygiene practice in this contemporary milieu.

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In order to clean our hands properly, we have to follow systematized modus operandi. In the first place, one should wash his or her hands with disinfected water.

Secondly, one should apply soap or sanitizer and rub the front and the back of hands vigorously with it and rub in-between fingers thoroughly.

Finally, the last step is to dry hands with a clean cloth or use an air dryer. It is pivotal to use this suggested methodology prior to preparing food, following eating and using the toilet.

To conclude, hand washing is a prerequisite strategy for maintaining sound wellbeing. The steps initiated for tackling the coronavirus by the federal government and provincial governments are impressive and monumental. Moreover, inclusiveness will be the deciding factor in the progression of this drive. So, it is high time to work with cooperation for a better Pakistan and healthier environment.

Junaid Ahmed Sohoo

Junaid Ahmed Sohoo

The writer is environmental management student/ researcher and dynamic author.

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