ST. JOSEPH’S CHOSEN CHURCH OF GOD INT’L
HEADQUARTER’S ZONAL WOMEN FELLOWSHIP CONVENTION 2018.
LECTURE ON PERSONAL HYGIENE
AS DELIVERED BY DEACONESS (MRS) U.E ENABOIFO
Hygiene is a set of practices performed to preserve health.
World health organization refers to hygiene as conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.
Therefore personal hygiene refers to maintaining the body cleanliness. Many people equate hygiene to cleanliness but hygiene is a broad term, which includes such personal habits, choices as to how frequently to bathe (shower), wash hands, change clothing etc. It also includes attention to keeping surfaces in the home, workplace, business places, bathroom/toilet facilities clean and germs free.
Good personal hygiene is essential to promoting good health. Practising good body hygiene helps you feel good about yourself, which is important to your mental health.
Personal hygiene involves those practices performed by an individual to care for one’s bodily health and wellbeing through cleanliness.
There are some motivating factors for personal hygiene practice such as reduction and healing from personal illness, optimal health, sense of wellbeing, social acceptance and prevention of spread of illness to others.
SOME CHECK LISTS FOR PERSONAL HYGIENE
These will help you ensure that you don’t lose opportunity because of the way you smell, it will help minimize risk of infection and also enhance your overall health if adhered to.
BATHE REGULARLY: Regular bathing removes accumulated oil, sweats, and dead skin cells. Wash your body twice daily, morning and evening, paying particular attention to skin folds, using mild toilet soap, but for those who sweat a lot, do exercises, during menopause, and after cooking should bathe more than twice a day. Note warm bath improves blood circulation bringing nourishment to the skin. HAND HYGIENE: Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others
So when should you wash your hand?
AN5: Before, during and after preparing food
- Before eating Food
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing nose, coughing or sneezing.
- After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste.
- After touching garbage.
How should you wash your hands?
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (Warm or Cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. Be sure to lather the
back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel.
What should you do if you don’t have soap and clean, running water?
- Use ash in place of soap and stored clean water.
- Use alcohol base hand sanitizer.
Feet should be washed regularly and frequently, well dried especially in between the toes, to prevent or control unpleasant odour due to excessive foot perspiration. Change shoes and socks at least daily. File toe nails rather than cutting to avoid injury. Wear correctly fitting shoes. Wear slippers in public bathrooms to avoid contracting athlete’s foot or other infections. Exercise the feet several times each day to promote circulation, point the feet upwards, downwards and move in circles. Foot injuries should be properly treated. To avoid excessive drying of the skin of the feet, soak them in warm water mixed with Epsom’s salt dry and apply cream e.g Shea butter (Ori-Oyo) using gentle massage.
HAIR HYGIENE: Wash your hair regularly to keep it beautiful. Use oil to massage the scalp at least once a week, and wash off using mild shampoo.
EYES HYGIENE: Normally, eyes do not require special hygiene, because tears continually wash the eyes, and the eye lid and lashes prevent the entrance of foreign particles.
EARS HYGIENE: Normally, ears require minimal hygiene. The external ears are cleaned while bathing. Never use keys, toothpicks, biro pen cover or cotton buds to remove wax. They cause more harm than good.
ORAL OR MOUTH HYGIENE: Is the practice of keeping one’s mouth clean free of disease and other problem such as bad breath, tooth decay, gingivitis (Inflammation of the gum), Stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth) by regular brushing of the teeth and cleaning between the teeth. Brush twice a day after breakfast and before going to bed. Cleaning between teeth is called interdental cleaning. This can be done with special brush or thread called floss. The tooth paste of choice is the one that contains fluoride.
Covering your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing is one of the ways to improve your personal hygiene. This will help in preventing the spread of any disease.
Personal belongings such as towels, dress, razor, comb, and make up items must not be shared with people as this can increase the likelihood of spreading infection.
SLEEP HYGIENE: Ensure plenty of rest 8 – 10hours sleep at night – so you are refreshed and are ready to take on the day every morning. Lack of sufficient rest and sleep can leave you feeling run down and can compromise your body’s natural immunity and defenses.
CLOTHES HYGIENE: This is an important aspect of one’s dignity. Usually there are two layers of clothing – the inner layer is the underwear such as pants, vests, t-shirts, these are right next to our skin, they collect sweat and dead skin cells which can cause infection. Underwear must be washed more frequently than the outer layer clothing. Change used clothes with clean ones daily. Wash dirty clothes and iron to destroy parasites. Boiled water can be used for infested clothes (e.g. Scabies and Tumbo fly larva).
MENSTRUAL HYGIENE: The Female reproductive organ is able to clean itself naturally so no special care is needed. But for the external genitalia wash daily with clean water. Change sanitary pads regularly. Wash your hands before and after handling a tampon or pad. Clean and soft clothes can be used in place of sanitary pads for those that can’t afford. Dispose of used pads properly.
PERSONAL HYGIENE AND FOOD PREPARATION
Good practices are essential for food preparation, not only in industry but in domestic setting also to avoid illness and even death.
The emphasis is in keeping surfaces clean at all times. Pets (Dogs, Cats etc) should not be permitted to share cooking and eating spaces, should be allocated separate eating and toilet environment.
Children should be encouraged to eat off the floor, and educated from a very early age about the importance of personal hygiene and food preparation. SUGGESTIONS AND CONCLUSION
Hand washing is extremely important; hands should be washed at least following these actions before and after food preparation, before and after using the kitchen utensils, after using the toilet, after sneezing/coughing, touching the hair or face and emptying bins.
Avoid eating food that has fallen to the floor even if the floor looks clean, the soles of shoes can carry millions of harmful bacteria including those of dog or cat faeces.
When sick, or have a known infection, or open wound do not cook. Minimize talking while cooking or serving food.
Use of clean caps and aprons is advisable. Best practices Include cleaning and tidying as you cook to prevent contamination of food items and avoid food poisoning. Cover food properly.
- Mop up spillage of oil or water etc from the floor to avoid accident.
- Clean cupboard, fridges regularly etc.
- Cook your food thoroughly especially raw meat.
- Check expiry date of products before using.
- Don’t share cutlery with others unless washed in between.
In conclusion the individual’s level or standard of hygiene depends on the habits learnt over the years, from the early stage at home, school, or by association which are influenced by our various cultural background. However in whichever way we have learnt, let’s always have in our minds that “Good Personal Hygiene is the first step to good health “it does not only protect you from poor health, but shields those around you from suffering illnesses that arise from poor personal, habits.
Thank you and God bless us all and give us all the grace to improve on our habits in Jesus Name.