Essay on Handwashing Related Literature

3646 Words Mar 19th, 2013 15 Pages
Microbial load on unwashed hands
There are grave consequences when people do not wash their hands or wash them improperly. It is known that hands are the main media for contaminants getting to people, whether the infections are airborne, oral or tactile.
Infectious diseases that are commonly spread through hand to hand contact include the common cold, and several gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhoea (WaterAid, 2006). Human hands usually harbour microorganisms both as part of a person’snormal microbial flora as well as transient microbes acquired from the environment (Lindberg et al, 2004).
According to Kartha (200!), many people consider handwashing a waste of time. However, they are unaware that
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Washing of both hands with soap or ash was more common after defaecation (17 – 18 %), after cleaning a child’s anus (22 – 24%) or after handling cow dung (12 – 20%). Findings also showed that availability of handwashing materials such as soap, ash or mud at the site of handwashing was low, with approximately 30%, and ≤1% of households having the specified material. Water availability was high. Hand drying was observed to take place before preparing food, after defaecation, after eating and before serving food. A high proportion of females did not dry their hands after handwashing.
A staggering one out of three Americans skips handwashing after going to the bathroom. Only 30% of people who have coughed or sneezed into their hands wash their hands afterwards. Kids are even worse. In a survey of junior high and high school boys and girls, only 58% of girls and 48% of boys washed up after using the rest room (Wisegeek. com, 2011).
Worldwide rates of handwashing with soap are very low. While many wash their hands with water, only a small percent use soap at critical times. In Ghana, for example, the rates for handwashing with soap after defaecation is 3% and after cleaning up a child is also 3% each (PPPHW, 2010). 2.6.2 Economic considerations
Efforts to modify human behaviour are complex. People can only expect to be successful

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