The Importance Of Handwashing

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Register to read the introduction… Handwashing does not mean just running water over your palms. It has to be done very carefully and in detail (Kartha, 2001).

Mayo Clinic (2009) suggests the following steps:
 Wet hands with (running) water;
 Apply cleansing agent;
 Lather well;
 Rub hands vigorously for at least 10 to 20 seconds, remembering to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails;
 Rinse well;
 Dry hands with a clean or disposable towel or dryer.

The above steps have been advocated by several sources as well. These include ASH (2011); All Family Resources (1999); CDC (2010); Kartha (2001); (2011) and Gavin (2011).
2.6.5 Correct length of
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The ‘West Indian’ lime, also called Mexican and Key lime is round, small-fruited, moderately seedy and highly polyembryonic; it has a thin, smooth rind, greenish flesh and a citric acid content ranging from 7% to 8%. It is usually grown as a seedling, as no satisfactory rootstock is known, but in Ghana it is grown on Rough lemon stock (Samson, 1986).
A number of studies indicate that washing hands with soap is the critical component of the handwashing behaviour (Cairncross, 1993; Ghosh et al, 1997; Khan, 1982; Oo et al, 2000). Kartha (2001) noted that the most essential thing required to wash hands is soap.
Again, studies have shown that hands can carry faeces to surfaces, to foods, and to future hosts, and handwashing with soap is effective in removing pathogens (Han et a., 1986; Kaltenthaler et al, 1991; Ansari et al, 1991). Improvements in access to safe water and adequate sanitation, along with the promotion of good hygiene practices (particularly handwashing with soap), can help prevent diarrhoea (Black et al, 2003). PPPHW (2011) affirmed that promoted on a wide enough scale, handwashing with soap can be thought of as a ‘do- it-yourself’
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Curtis and Cairncross (2003) estimated a reduction of 42 – 47% in diarrhoeal diseases associated with handwashing. Fewtrell et al (2005) showed a 44% reduction in diarrhoeal illness associated with handwashing. In a study, Aiello et al (2008) estimated that handwashing with soap combined with education could produce a 39% reduction in gastrointestinal illness. All the three meta-analyses were carried out using data from studies conducted in both developed and developing countries.
In a review of hand hygiene studies involving respiratory tract infections, Rabie and Curtis (2006) reported that hand hygiene (handwashing, education and waterless hand sanitizers) can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%. Aiello et al. (2008) also estimated that the reduction in respiratory illness associated with the pooled effects of hand hygiene (handwashing with soap, use of alcohol handrubs) was

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