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Take care of yourself

Written by Adele Schoormann
Washing your hands stops the spread of communicable disease.

The Department of Health is calling on South Africans to be mindful of personal hygiene since it can prevent a number of communicable diseases.

Personal hygiene involves those practices performed by an individual to care for one’s bodily health and well-being through cleanliness.

According to Mpumalanga Department of Health spokesperson Dumisani Malamule taking simple steps such as washing one’s hands can prevent and interrupt the transmission of diseases. Washing your hands can protect you from diseases

“Hands often act as vectors that carry disease-causing pathogens from person to person, either through direct contact or indirectly via surfaces,” said Malamule.

When hands are not washed they can transport bacteria, viruses and parasites to unsuspecting hosts.

Prevent communicable diseases from spreading.

Malamule explains that preventing the spreading of disease starts with all of us.

“We can protect ourselves, our children and families and prolong our lives. Wash your hands before, during or after preparing food, coming into contact with an ill person, using the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing and before feeding your baby.”

The following communicable diseases can be contracted when one neglects personal hygiene:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid fever
  • Gastro intestinal infections such as diarrhoea
  • Listeriosis
  • Dysentery

Malamule said the Department of Health is hard at work to encouraging personal hygiene amongst South Africans.

“We do this by visiting schools and teaching learners about personal hygiene, we have ward-based outreach teams and health promoters who are actively involved in their respective communities. There are also trained community health workers who are providing health education on subjects such as personal hygiene amongst others to the communities,” said Malamule.