Educating: ‘The Educated Adults’

Where I cannot connect is when ‘educated adults’ stubbornly argue against the importance of hand washing. The final test of my concern came when my husband underwent a 6 day stay in hospital and later had to establish 2 weeks of confinement in the house due to knee surgery. With the kind of risks that are posed to a person who has gone through a major medical procedure, I have to carefully monitor my husband’s day to day routine and a sizeable effort is to make sure that no setbacks occur during this period of healing.

We receive the most well-meaning, warm-hearted visitors. But when it comes to the moment of hand sanitization, the same people step back into a time of resistance. Though medical advancement brings us the effortless convenience of rapid hand antiseptics, 30 percent of our guests were hesitant or confused to oblige me. The other 30 percent gave me a look which was searching to find out if I was on the brink of raving madness. A nice old lady whom I could trust my life with was actually offended when I asked her to sanitize her hands by offering her the baby pink solution of Micro-shield. ‘What have I touched? I’m coming from a movie hall and straight to your place’, she explained almost defiantly. Then there were a couple of men who said to me, ‘If you concern yourself with such unwanted fears, you are a sure case of being obsessive’. Another example was of a youngish mother, who was clear to confess that with so many germs and bacteria around us, there was not much hope or the advantage of disinfecting our hands before entering the patient’s room.

People! Romans! My Friends! The following are the diseases received from not washing hands.

1. Giardiasis – For people with compromised immune systems, as well as the elderly patients, Giardiasis can be deadly.
2. Hepatitis A – Tens of millions of individuals worldwide are estimated to     become infected with Hepatitis A each year. A host of complications can     take place with Hepatitis A.
3. E.coli – These virulent strains typically cause a bout of diarrhea that is     unpleasant in healthy adults and is often lethal to children in the developing     world.
4. Salmonella – It causes illnesses like typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and the foodborne illness.
5. Cervical Cancer.
6. Indirect Respiratory Diseases – including Influenza and common cold.
7. Streptococcus – When the bacteria gets introduced or transmitted to vulnerable tissues, a variety of types of suppurative infections can occur.
8. Typhus – It includes descriptions of fever and red spots over arms, back and chest, progressing to delirium, gangrenous sores, and the stink of rotting flesh.
9. Epstein-Barr Virus – It is known to cause several lymphoproliferative     disorders and cancers, particularly Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Hygiene is a habit which should be considered as a way of life not only for patients, but for the upkeep of our healthy families. Teaching children about hygiene at very early age is extremely important. Insist that they learn to use handwash regularly. Make sure that they bathe properly. Hand-sanitizer is 99.9% effective in eliminating germs and harmful bacteria from our hands.

How To Wash Our Hands?
There is a method… otherwise we have not ridden ourselves of germs. Have a mental timer, massage the soap for 15 seconds. We should rub between our fingers and pretend as if we are surgeons about to go for a surgery. Before touching young infants, visiting patients, after using the washroom, touching pets or cleaning their faeces – be extra careful. It is highly advisable to keep hand-sanitizer bottles in our place of work, in the pantry and the living room area. It is like taking a safe Insurance Policy.

By following the simple guidelines of washing hands, we can avoid a host of illnesses – some of which can be life-threatening. Why Take Risks?


Geeta Chhabra


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