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Do You Wash Hands Properly?

Wong Shu Lee  


  October 14, 2021

Do you know what is the best way to prevent the spread of the flu and viruses? 


The most effective way is to wash your hands. Today, this may seem like common sense to many people (even if they don’t all do it properly). However, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that some doctors in the United States and Europe began to wash their hands before examining patients—and even then, only in certain cases. 


The importance of handwashing for medical professionals didn’t really become understood until scientists hit upon germ theory—the idea that certain diseases and infections are caused by microorganisms we can’t even see. 


Today, medical and health professionals consider hand washing a critical hygienic practice, both for themselves and their patients. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, even provides guidelines for how to properly wash your hands. To properly kill germs, the CDC advocates scrubbing them with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing the soap off with water. Drying them completely is also important since wet hands spread germs more easily.



Besides, October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. 


This day is an opportunity for us to design, test and replicate creative ways to encourage people around us to wash their hands with soap properly, especially during this critical time of pandemic. 


This unprecedented time provides a unique impetus to institutionalize hand hygiene as a fundamental component of health and safety. The learnings from the past year have emphasized the need for collective action to address the historic neglect of hand hygiene investments, policies, and programs once and for all. 


As we enter a new normal, beyond COVID-19, our future is at hand.  This year’s theme, “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together,” calls for coordinated action as we actively work toward universal hand hygiene.


No matter your role, you can celebrate Global Handwashing Day! Let’s wash your hands properly, and frequently! 


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