Islamabad: Diarrhoea is the second major cause of death among the children and every year about 5,000 children under the age of five die of diarrheal diseases caused by poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
“However, hand-washing is like a ‘do-it-yourself’ vaccine.
It involves five simple and effective steps i.e.wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry.You can take to reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy,” said Dr Ejaz Ahmed Khan, consultant paediatrician at Shifa International Hospital.
An impressive mela to mark Global Hand-washing Day was organised by Shifa International Hospital in the lush green lawns of the hospital.The event aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of hand-washing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent disease.
Doctors, schoolchildren, their parents, teachers and residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad attended the colourful show and awareness session to promote the healthy habit of hand washing particularly in children to prevent infections.The theme for Global Hand-washing Day 2015 was ‘raise hand for hygiene.’
Kids enjoyed numerous interesting activities such as painting competition, speech competition and hand-washing activity after regular intervals and colourful oath board where they inscribed their handprints with different colours while taking oath that they will always keep their hands clean.
Director Medical Services SIH, Dr Mian Amjad Sohail gave gifts and prizes to the winners and the participants.
Dr Ejaz Ahmed Khan while addressing the audience of the event said that hand-washing with soap is one of the cheapest, most effective vaccines against viral diseases, from the seasonal flu, to the common cold.
He said that hand washing with soap before and after preparing, eating food, treating wounds, coughing, blowing or cleaning nose, and treating or caring sick, is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal, intestinal worm infections and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children around the globe.
Hand-washing with soap is an affordable and accessible vaccine that prevents infections.
“Hand washing can save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention,” he said.
Dr Ejaz stressed on the need to wash hands with soap particularly after using toilet as if it’s not done, it can cause diarrheal infections.
Toilet waste can cause typhoid, cholera, all other common widespread gastro-enteric infections and some respiratory infections such as influenza and pneumonia.
Washing hands with soap can significantly cut the risk of diarrhoea from 30 per cent to 50 per cent, and that of respiratory tract infection from 21 percent to 45 percent.