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Your Health is in your Hands Pneumonia and diarrhoea are the biggest killers of children globally, causing the

deaths of approximately two million children under the age of five, every year. 29 per cent of fewer than 5 deaths globally claiming more than two million lives each year. In India, this translates to the loss of 609,000 children under the age of five, every year. Simple hand washing awareness among children and parents would make lot of difference. Awareness raising campaigns could reduce deaths caused by pneumonia by 30 percent and diarrhoea by 60 percent potentially saving more than two million children by 2015. Effective hand washing could reduce the prevalence of stunting in children under the age of five by up to 15%. For the beginner safe and effective hand washing etiquette is art. Effective hand wash time should be 20 second minimum to 2 minute. Research suggested that only 5% people globally wash their hands effectively. Researched done in Britain, states that 1in 6 mobile phone is infected with faecal matter. Even 14% bank notes and 10 % credit card contains the same.1gm of faeces particle contents 10 million viruses and 1 millions of bacteria. Such data also found for Ahmadabad doctors last year where hospitals doctors mobiles found dangerous bacteria and viruses resting on their mobile screen.

This is not it. One should co- relate effective Hand washing practise to Childs growth and behaviour pattern. Quality of the water in the household and provide soap resulted in an average 0.5cm increased height growth in children under the age of five. Recently visited a restaurant in ahmedabad and by asking the owner and bill man about their customer and habits of hand wash. I was amaze by hearing that hardly 20% of their customer washes their hands before having food. After that surveyed many other places and got the same answer. When should you wash your hands?

Before, during, and after preparing food Before eating food Before and after caring for someone who is sick Before and after treating a cut or wound After using the toilet After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste After touching garbage

For children school and mates are the reservoir for 70% infection they are getting till puberty. Though Indan School children are more obedient as compare to other countries still not the best. 45% Indian parents believe in asking their children to wash hands as they come home from school.50% of Indians do not wash their hands after coughing or sneezing and such results reflect the future of a child too and irrespectively the nation growth as 65% of Indian population are youth.

One more interesting fact about Indian population is the availability of waters supply in the toilets. There were only 3.61 % toilets in India which are well occupied with adequate tap water in 2011 which is now 11%. How one should wash their hand without water though we have option of sanitizer which is out of question as of now still 3% population using sanitizer in urban India.

The quality of soap is also matters too. The toilet and accessories code of conduct from the government gives perfect statement which never executed. 44% wash hands use regular soap while32% prefers anti-bacterial soap in India where its available. So, next time you go for toilet, eat food, meet unhealthy people do wash your properly and spread the same message.

Dr. Bhavan Bhavsar