MedWednesday I: Hand Hygiene, ‘Fear-Bola’ and Co.

Hey Lovely People!

Quick Fact>>> Did you know that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Nigeria Ebola-free on Monday? Well, now you do. 😉

Now, hold on a minute there! Sorry to interrupt your victory dance but you still have to wash your hands regularly and YES, 70%-alcohol(at least 60%) containing hand sanitizers are still important.

Our hands help transmit up to 4 or 5 infectious diseases we come down with almost everyday and all we have to do is WASH THEM. I won’t bore you with the intricacies of transmission of infectious organisms, colonization and subsequent infection, depending on the state of a persons’ immune system.

I’ll run quickly through what is the ‘approved’ right way to wash your hands:

With Soap and Water,

  • Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
  • Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue rubbing hands for 15 seconds.
  • Rinse hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
  • Dispose the paper towel immediately after use without making contact with the bin.

This should last for about 40-60 seconds.


WHO has recommended the use of clean ash where there’s no clean soap available.

If soap and clean water are not available and/or your hands are not visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting. (Remember: alcohol-based hand rubs not effective against spore-forming bacteria as C. Difficile.)

Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer,

  • Apply 1 pump of product to the palm of one hand.
  • Rub hands together.
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.

This should last for about 20-30 seconds.


When should we wash our hands?

  • Before eating. Use a waterless hand sanitizer if in your car or bag or on your person.
  • Before, during and after handling or preparing food(this is so me).
  • After changing a diaper.
  • After you use the bathroom(please oh, this cannot be over-emphasized!).
  • After handling animals, their toys, leashes or waste(pets or after a visit to the Zoo, Park etc.)
  • After touching something that could be contaminated (such as a trash can, cleaning cloth, drain, or soil).
  • After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose(PLEASE!!!).
  • Before dressing a wound, giving medicine or inserting contact lenses(IF you’re a Medic in any way).
  • More often when someone in your home is sick.
  • Whenever they look or feel dirty.
  • Whenever you visit someone in the hospital or nursing home.

Remember, too, the importance of hand hygiene if you are providing care for a loved one at home or in the hospital. Clean your hands before and after every contact.


Finally(this is pretty new and i know it will take some serious getting-used to but i hope we try),

  • When you sneeze/cough and you use a paper towel, please dispose of it immediately. If a handkerchief is used, please keep it away till you get home and can wash it. DO NOT USE it again on your face or hands or wherever; DO NOT USE IT AGAIN.
  • Where there is no paper towel, sneeze/cough into the crook of your elbow. It has been proven that the chances of infectious micro organisms spreading from the crook of your elbow are low in comparison to you sneezing into your palms.



Like i said, this will take some getting-used to but we can at least try, it’s all in a bid to have a healthier green earth.

DID YOU KNOW?                                                                                                                                                          The clinical term for sneezing is ‘sternutation’.

As usual, lets hear your thoughts below and also strive towards being healthier.

“Health is wealth.” (And if you’ve been seriously ill before, you’d understand)

Peace and Love, Ib.







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