By Dr Yasmin Ali Haque
Virtually 20 years in the past, a researcher from the London Faculty of Hygiene and Tropical Drugs had referred to as the straightforward act of washing arms with cleaning soap a do-it-yourself vaccine! Valerie Curtis, a distinguished world hygiene advocate, who handed away this yr, was referring to the immense potential of hand washing to considerably cut back diarrheal deaths, the second greatest killer of youngsters. Since then, hand washing with cleaning soap at important occasions is acknowledged as an essential behaviour to forestall infections and save lives, particularly for weak kids and households.
Her phrases have acquired a brand new urgency within the final 9 months, throughout which COVID-19 has claimed over one million lives globally, whereas the seek for a vaccine to fight the virus is but to yield concrete outcomes. This implies, hand washing with cleaning soap, that cuts the danger of viral transmission by 23-40 per cent in line with world research, together with social-distancing and masks, will stay one of many first traces of protection towards COVID-19 within the foreseeable future.
There may be an rising momentum for this on a number of fronts.
A 2020 fast evaluation by WaterAid in India discovered that 67 per cent of respondents surveyed are in search of out details about when and the best way to wash arms with cleaning soap.
PM Modi’s Jan Andolan or individuals’s motion on COVID-19-appropriate behaviour launched on October 8, 2020 clearly emphasises the significance of practising the three preventive behaviours: carrying masks correctly; washing arms steadily; sustaining protected distance of six ft.