Show Me the Science - Why Wash Your Hands?

Hand washing remains the most effective weapon in controlling the spread infection.

Washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others
Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:
  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhoea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.
Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy.
Handwashing education in the community:
  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhoea by 23-40% 
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58% 
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 
  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 

For further information in relation to the importance of handwashing including how to do it correctly and efficiently please visit Centers for Diesease Control & Prevention.

We acknowledge the Centres for Diesease Control & Prevention for the above information & statistics: