kasahorow Sua,

Sɛdea Wo Kita Ho Nsa Biara

Kita taa ho nsa biara.
Yuso samina na nsu.
Mbere: hohoro mpare aduonu.
Twitwiw yie nsatea biara, kokromoti na abakɔn.
Pepa yie nsa biara.

With COVID-19 taking centre stage, the World Health Organisation[1], governments around the world and health protection agencies, like the NHS[3], are urging people to wash their hands frequently and properly to prevent unnecessary germ spreading. You might think that you know the correct way to wash your hands, but the truth is that lots of people make key mistakes that reduce the efficacy of hand-washing. Here are some guidelines on how to ensure you’re doing all you can to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses:

  1. Wash your hands often

Wash your hands consistently throughout the day, especially[4]:

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • After using the toilet
  • Before eating
  • After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • After touching animals or animal food
  • As soon as you get home from an outing
  • After caring for someone who is sick
  1. Use soap and water

While hand sanitiser is a good second choice, the best way to wash your hands is using liquid soap and water.[5] Bar soaps are okay, but try to make sure they remain well drained so they can dry, as germs like moisture. Warm water is also more effective at removing microbes than cold water.[6]

If you want a good sanitiser to use when you are out and about, get one that is alcohol-based and has an alcohol content of at least 60%. Alcohol has been proven to help kill viruses. If your hands are visibly dirty, it is much better to wash your hands with soap and water.[7] 

  1. Wash for at least 20 seconds

Most people are too impatient to wash their hands for long enough. The length of time that you wash your hands is really important to kill harmful germs. 20 seconds is the time that you spend rubbing the soap on your hands and does not include rinsing time. Make sure you rinse your hands thoroughly with warm water until all of the soap is off.[8] How can you know you're washing your hands for the correct amount of time? This is the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice or to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” once.

  1. Rub vigorously

Part of what makes hand washing effective is rubbing. You are trying to dislodge and wash away germs from your skin, so take your time to methodically scrub all areas of your hands, including thumbs, fingers, backs of your hands, wrists, palms and under your nails.[9] 

  1. Dry your hands well

Because germs like moisture, it’s really important to dry your hands well after you’ve washed them. This is also an opportunity to wipe away any germs that you may not have managed to rinse away.[10] You can use a disposable paper towel or a cloth towel. Just be sure not to share a towel between too many people and wash your hand towel frequently (at least every couple days). [11]

Remember that washing your hands regularly helps prevent the spread of germs to objects and between people, so do it often and do it properly.

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