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Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives

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Our skin is the largest organ of the body and it is exposed to dirt and microorganisms. Illnesses like influenza, food poisoning and other healthcare associated infections which are passed on from person-to-person are preventable and can be reduced by good hand hygiene. Proper handwashing is the most important way to prevent and control the spread of disease.


Good hand hygiene is one of the World Health Organisation’s core components to prevent illnesses. Let us help spread awareness on the proper way of washing our hands and when hand washing should be done.


Keeping the hands clean is a really good habit that can help prevent us from contracting diseases or spreading germs to others. Many diseases are the result of people not washing their hands properly (by using soap and clean running water). If clean running water is not readily available, as is the case in many parts of the world, make use of whatever water that is available, along with soap. In the event that neither of these are available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.



(Photo source: Minute Menu)





Hand sanitizers are not effective when hands are visibly dirty. They can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.




How do you use hand sanitizers?

  1. Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
  2. Rub your hands together.
  3. Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.





Author: Marie Yvette Soriano-Jaramillo, M.D. and Arah Margarita Ty, M.D. – Jardine Lloyd Thompson – Benefit Solutions

Photo source:
Top photo –
Charts and illustrations on handwashing – courtesy of the author
Hand sanitiser –

Center for Disease Control






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