Hand washing with soap can save at least a million lives annually by reducing water related diseases including Diarrhoea and pneumonia, said an article of Lancet, a UK based medical journal.
“Hygiene is the practice of keeping oneself and one’s environment clean and free of infection risk. Though many hygiene practices can assist in preventing disease, the one with the strongest evidence for effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in developing countries is hand washing with soap”, the article said.
“In developing countries the biggest killers of young children are respiratory infections and the diarrhoeal diseases and both are preventable by hand washing,” said Senior Scientific Officer of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Dr ASM Alamgir told BSS.
According to UNICEF, around 50,000 children die in Diarrhoea in Bangladesh annually. It can be reduced, if the children wash their hands properly, he said.
“Proper hand wash with soap can prevent three other deadly diseases — acute respiratory infections, Helminth infections and Eye infections,” he added.
Hands are vectors that can transport disease agents from person to person directly or indirectly via surfaces. Hands that have been in contact with faces, nasal excretions and other bodily fluids, and not subsequently properly washed, can vehicle large number of viruses, bacteria and other parasites.