The Benefits of Hand-washing in Staying Healthy

Everyone is concerned about staying healthy following the announcement by the Kenya Ministry of Health regarding the first confirmed coronavirus case in the country.

Across the globe, public health experts agree that one of the best things we all can do to prevent the transmission of any illness is to practice good hand hygiene.

“Wash your hands, with soap, for about twenty seconds at least, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer – it will leave your hands germ free,” said Dr. Noah Akala, MD, of MedLux International Hospital.

Dr. Akala said that disease causing droplets can be transferred from person-to-person when we touch things like door handles, cash, or even other people.

“The supermarket; night clubs, for example, are all places where people gather, and when you bring a bunch of people together, you’re bringing a bunch of germs together,” he said. “You can help prevent infection transmission by washing your hands.”

The good news, according to Dr. Akala, is we don’t need anything special to keep our hands clean.

“Any regular, good, generic soap available at your local kiosk will do just as fine as the expensive ones with labels that say ‘antibacterial’ and things like that,” he said.

Dr. Esper said parents can teach their kids good hand hygiene practices at any age – but usually once kids are of school age, they can get a better handle on how to wash up properly.

And for young kids, hand sanitizer is a good choice.

“The youngest children – the one and two-year-olds – are not very good hand-washers,” said Dr. Akala. They generally have a hard time working with soap and water and doing the whole sequence. That’s where alcohol-based sanitizers help – you can just pour out a little into their hands and rub, rub, rub – and it works so much better for the smaller children.”

Dr. Noah Akala, M.D

Public Health Specialist

MedLux International Hospital

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