health care and hygiene.

“The association between hygiene and infection.The importance of hygiene in preventing infections has been known for more than a century. In 1847, Dr Ignaz Semmelweis observed that maternal mortality was as high as 18% in physician-attended births compared to 2% in midwife-attended births. One key difference was that midwives washed their hands. After instituting strict hygiene protocols among physicians, maternal mortality in physician-attended births fell to 2% (11). "Hygiene refers to that behaviour that can improve cleanliness and lead to good health, such as frequent hand wahing, face washing and bathing with soap and water.In manyareas of the world, practicing personal hygiene etiquette is difficult due to lack of clean water and soap.Many diseases can be spread if the hand, face, or body are not washed appropriately at key times.


HEALTH AND HYGIENE What is good health? Different people may consider good health differently. But to define it formally, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. We take health as being free from diseases but it is much more than just the absence of a disease. Good health may enable us to do well at work and in life. Good health involves proper functioning of all body organs. It also involves feeling well both in body and in mind. People enjoying good health are cheerful, free from stress, and enjoy life to the fullest. Only if you are in good health you can be of help to others and the community.

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PERSONAL HEALTH Taking care of oneself to remain healthy and free from diseases is personal health. Some important aspects of good personal health are as follows:

  • Balanced diet: You have already studied about the need and importance of balanced diet in lesson 25. Obtaining a balanced diet depends on one’s choice and what one can usually afford. It also includes the correct proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and roughage in your diet.

  • Personal hygiene: There are some activities you perform everyday in order to keep yourself clean. Can you list them out? These activities are:
    Regular toilet habits: Regular bowel movements keep us free of body wastes generated inside the body.
    Washing hands before eating: Having food with dirty hands may make us sick because the dirt in our hand might carry certain diseasecausing germs. We should wash our hands after going to the toilet. Washing hands with soap make them germ free.
    Bathing regularly and wearing clean clothes: Dirt is a place for germs to grow. Bathing regularly keeps your body free of dirt, body lice and germs.

  • Cleaning the teeth: After eating food, some food particles may remain sticking to your teeth. These food particles form a medium for the germs to grow, harm your gums and teeth, and cause bad breath. Brushing of teeth every day do not let the germs grow. Brushing of teeth before going to bed is a very good habit. Washing hair, cleaning eyes, ears and nails: Regular washing and combing of hair helps in preventing dirt accumulation to keep the germs away. Nails should be clipped regularly; nail biting is unhygienic and must be avoided.

  • Domestic hygiene: House should be kept clean and free from dirt, flies and germs.
    Cooking utensils, plates, cups and other utensils should be kept clean.

  • Clean food and water: Fruits and vegetables should be washed in clean water to make them free from germs and pesticides (chemicals sprayed on plants to keep them insect free) before consumption and cooking.
    Water used for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing utensils should be from a clean source.

  • Abstaining from habit-forming substances: To keep healthy, one should avoid smoking, chewing of betel nut, gutka and tobacco, and drinking alcohol. Intake of such habit-forming substances may lead to health problems such as liver damage, kidney failure and heart failure.

    We often read in the newspaper or see on television about the fast spread of certain diseases in a particular area. Many people seem to get affected. This may not be an individual problem, but the problem of community and requires immediate attention. Local or government organisations may take steps to control Fish eat larvae Health, Hygiene and Diseases : 271 : spreading of a disease, by creating awareness and ensuring adequate supplies of medicines. You must have seen notices and banners put up by the government agencies stating the date and time of immunization programmes and the precautions to be taken against different diseases. Such awareness is regularly created through nationwide campaigns against the spread of diseases such as malaria, dengue, AIDS, polio, leprosy, and Hepatitis B.

    There are several organisations working towards good community health. Some of these are listed below.

    Government hospitals and dispensaries,the National Malaria Eradication (removal) Programme, the Tuberculosis (T. B.) Eradication Programme, national Immunization Programme, national Pulse Polio Programme.
    Some of the important tasks, which the community health centres undertake are:
    To maintain proper cleanliness by disposing off the sewage from colonies.
    To provide safe and germ free drinking water.
    To run various immunization (vaccination against various diseases) programs and other health awareness programmes wherever there is danger of spreading of a disease.
    To provide health education.
    To spray insecticides to kill harmful insects.
    To maintain food standards, regular inspection at food stores, meat and milk outlets.
    To prevent mosquito breeding, cover open drains and pour kerosene oil on the surface of stagnant water.