Hand washing is not a new word it has existed for many years right from creation. Guess we first learn how to wash our hands at home and then school.  In health, Nurses talk about handwashing and even attend courses on this subject “The handwashing technique”, but, little said about educating the public under health promotion.


Male doctor examining intensive care patient

The hands touch all parts of our body and material things, the hair when scratching and the entire body. We sneeze, toileting, touching clothes, both clean and dirty. One fascinating observation is the railway station’s stair rails, escalators, we all hold these rails and how many of us ever think to wash our hands afterwards, even before eating or touching other things that are already clean.  We spread the dirtiness from our hands, to clean environments.  We must wash our hands always.


Handwashing is critical because through the hands we get food poisoning, allergic reactions, flu and infections, among others.  Our nails should be kept clean, short and presentable.  There are many nail file package in the market that need not break the purse, and there is no need to visit the nail technician every week but at least once a month or as recommended by your technician, moreover, as finance allow us to do so.  However, remember to check if you have high blood sugar (Diabetes).  And if yes, there are many measures to prevent skin cut as healing does take time with diabetic clients.

Handwashing is part of the activities of daily living.  We must wash our hands, but the fact remains that how many washing facilities are available.  Take for instance, at the train station you only see washing sink in the ladies and gents facilities and nowhere else.  The restaurants have no sinks for customers, and shops have no implementation of washing hands or cleansers before touching selling clothes and shoes.  Food supermarkets equally share the same attitude, etc.

However, we need to improve this area of health care for all.  Bus stations the same thing, no facilities.  At the hospitals, almost the same except that few Wards have hallway sinks for everyone to wash their hands, but generally, the answer is no.  Moreover, l have seen a few healthcare professionals not washing clients hands and serving them food, and not given them hand towels to clean their hands after using the commode, they argue, but we the Nurses have done the cleaning.  Well, this group of clients are used to washing hands at home after using facilities, and such a habit should continue irrespective.

Intensive care unit, and trauma care unit

Similarly, in Intensive Care Units, there are sinks availabilities but not at the door entrance or hallways.  Hospitals should show good examples by providing handwashing sinks right at the primary access to the hospitals because staff and visitors have just come off their cars, trains, buses and touched objects, hands need washing but no accessibilities.


We should teach the young generation the importance of handwashing before and after activities, and it is paramount in health promotion.  Hand washing is part of preventive measures from becoming ill.  Everyone irrespective of age or health condition.  Both sick and sound minds should endeavour to wash their hands or carry good hand cleansers in their work bags, school bags and business bags.  A healthy lifestyle includes regular hand washing, do this most often and enjoy a good quality of life.


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