Hand hygiene

    • Brief

    • Your hands can harbour and transmit germs that cause infection for yourself and others. Cleaning and taking proper care of your hands is an essential aspect of personal grooming.

      It is not enough to wash your hands occasionally. You need to make a conscious effort to prevent spreading infections. Social activities like shaking hands or touching other people with your hands can transfer germs from them to you and from you to them. This is how viruses and bacteria are often spread.

      Washing your hands with soap and water or disinfecting your hands with hand sanitisers can break the chain of infection. Hand washing removes germs and allows you to live more healthy.

    • How to wash your hands

      • It is best to use running water to wash your hands. However, in the absence of running water, you should get someone to assist you in pouring water from a clean bowl over your hands as you wash.
      • Moisten your hands with a little water. Then put soap on your hands and rub your hands to form a lather (soap bubbles). You can use liquid soap if that is available.
      • Wash both hands by rubbing your hands together. Wash in-between your fingers and the back of your hands, not forgetting the thumb.
      • Rub your fingernails on either side of your palm and wash your wrists with one hand on each side.
      • Do this several times, making sure to wash every part of the hand.
      • Rinse your hands with water till all the foam is removed and your hands feel clean.
      • Dry your hands with a clean towel or use paper towels.
      • If you hands feel dry after washing and drying, use a hand cream to moisturise and protect them.
      • If you cannot wash your hands with soap and water, use a hand sanitiser.
    • When and how to maintain hand hygiene

    • Your hands are used for most of your contact with the physical world and can carry germs from place to place. Washing can get rid of germs, especially after activities where your hands are likely to have picked them up.

      When should you wash?

      Wash your hands with soap and running water:

      • First thing when you wake up in the morning, even before you brush.
      • Immediately after you enter a new surroundings, including your home.
      • Before and after using the toilet.
      • Wash your hands before and after cooking.
      • After meetings where you shake other people's hands.
      • After cleaning, throwing away your garbage or handling the waste bin.
      • After holding or stroking animals or pets.
      How to develop a handwashing habit

      A good and proper way to maintain hand hygiene is to:

      • Develop the habit of cleaning the hands before and after carrying out any activity.
      • Place reminders in strategic places, like in the toilets and at your house and workplace entrance.
      • Carry a (small) bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag or place one on your desk at work.
    • Kulawa cares

    • Practising safe hand hygiene reduces the risk of catching and spreading bacterial and viral infections. Wash your hands at critical times, including when you wake up, go out and after touching other people, surfaces or pets. Your hands always pick up germs. Learn to keep them clean and protect yourself, your loved ones and other people from ill-health.