What is Hygiene
As defined by Webster’s dictionary,’ hygiene’ is the science of health, its preservation and prevention of disease. Hygiene is an old concept related to medicine, as well as to personal and professional care practices related to most aspects of living. In medicine and in home (domestic) and everyday life settings, hygiene practices are employed as preventive measures to reduce the incidence and spreading of disease. The terms cleanliness (or cleaning) and hygiene are often used interchangeably, which can cause confusion. In general, hygiene mostly means practices that prevent spread of disease-causing organisms. Since cleaning processes (e.g., hand washing) remove infectious microbes as well as dirt and soil, they are often the means to achieve hygiene. Other uses of the term appear in phrases including: body hygiene, personal hygiene, sleep Hygiene, mental Hygiene, dental hygiene, and occupational hygiene, used in connection with public health. Webster also defined ‘Personal’ as ‘belonging or particular to one person, private, a personal opinion and personal belongings/done by oneself.

Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene involves those practices performed by an individual to care for ones bodily health arid well being, through cleanliness. Motivations for personal hygiene practice include reduction of personal illness, healing from personal illness, optimal health and sense of well being, social acceptance and prevention of spread of illness to others. Other practices that are generally considered proper hygiene include bath regularly, washing hands regularly and especially before handling food, washing scalp hair, keeping hair short or removing hair, wearing underwear, wearing clean clothing, brushing one s teeth, cutting finger nails, besides other practices. Some practices are gender-specific, such as by a woman during her menstrual cycle. People tend to develop a routine for attending to their personal hygiene needs. Other personal hygienic practices would include covering one’s mouth when coughing, disposal of soiled tissues appropriately, making sure toilets are clean, and making sure food handlirg areas are clean.

Personal hygiene is the first step to good grooming and good health. Elementary cleanliness is common knowledge. Neglect causes problems that you may not even be aware of. Many people with bad breath are blissfully unaware of it. Some problems may not be your fault at all, but improving standards of hygiene will control these conditions. Dandruff is a case in point. More often than you know, good looks are the result of careful and continuous grooming. Every external part of the body demands a basic amount of attention on a regular basis. Developing countries like Nigeria would not achieve their 2015 millennium target for reduction in child mortality without significant improvement in personal and public hygiene. Current epidemiological evidence shows that, hand washing with soap would make a significant contribution 1:0 meeting the millennium development goal of reducing the 1990 death among children under the age of five by two third by 2015 in developing countries.

-Over 10% of Nigeria children aged 5-10 have germs on their hands that cause diseases like diarrhea, cholera and typhoid (NIMR 2011)
-Each year, more than 3.5millon children of our worlds do riot live to celebrate their fifth birthday because of diarrhea and pneumonia.(NPC/ICF Macro, 2009).
-Over 272millon school days are lost each year due to absenteeism related to diarrhea diseases.
-These two killers account for at most 400,000 child death annually in Nigeria.
Nigeria has the second highest number of child death due to diarrhea in the world.
-Many Nigerian adult have also died from cholera, typhoid and related diseases due to poor hand washing culture.
-Many of these deaths can be avoided, yet these conditions continue to cause mortally.

-Hand washing with soap is not the habit of the majority
Hand washing with soap at critical times (before handling food and after using the toilet) is low ranging from zero to 34 percent.
-In Nigeria, mothers believe the most critical times of washing hand with soap for their children are: before eating (46%); after using the toilet (31%) and after handling dirty things (23%)-NIMR 2011.
-Not as many that know about it practice it.
-It s not essentially a problem of scarcity of water or lack of soap. Laundry, bathing and washing of dishes are seen as the priorities for soap use.
-The challenge is to make hand washing with soap a habit in daily routine worldwide and an accepted social norm.
-Only 20% of mothers in Nigeria, link germs in the hand with diseases.
-About 88% of Nigerian mothers desire more education on proper hand washing with soap (NIMR 2011)
Teeth are the hardest parts of the human body. Yet hard as they are, teeth can decay. Have you ever had a ‘ A cavity is a hole in a tooth. It develops when tiny bacteria eat away at the enamel and dentin. Luckily, a dentist can fill the holes that bacteria make. Once a tooth decays, it can easily crack arid break. That’s why it’s so important to keep teeth clean. Brushing your teeth helps get rid of bacteria and the bits of food that bacteria feed on. You won’t believe what people used to clean their teeth before toothpaste was invented
Have you heard of the sixty-second battery operated wonder brush? It has been analysed that it takes only that long to give your teeth a good brush. You have to hold the brush to your teeth and say cheese (and then perhaps S-A-U-C-E for the brush to get a good scrub inside!).
Well, whether it is a neem twig or battery brush, you cannot give brushing a miss.
Brush teeth twice a day and rinse well after every mea Brushing before going to bed is important. (Especially recommended for people with a sweet tooth). For normal teeth this is adequate. While brushing, pay alienation to the fact that you are getting rid of the food particles, stuck in between the teeth and in the crevices of the flatter teeth at the back, the molars and pre molars. Brush down on the upper teeth and brush up on the lower teeth. Use a circular motion. Pay attention to the tongue and the inner surface of teeth as well. The brush should have resilient bristles. It should be rinsed well and left to dry after use. There are no perfect toothpastes or powders. Use one without harsh abrasives or strong antiseptics. *rinse your mouth in the morning before eating and brush after meal.

The world around us swarms with micro-organisms. Some bacteria are found on our bodies. In countries where food is eaten and prepared with bare hands, extra attention has to be paid to the cleanliness of hands. Besides, a permanent layer of dust or grime reduces the sensitivity of the hands. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after every meal and after visiting the toilet. Soaping and rinsing should cover the areas between fingers, nails and back, of the hand. Hands should be dried with a clean towel fter wash. The towel at the wash stand has to be washed. changed every day. n situations where hand washing with soap is not an option (e.g. when in a public place with no access to wash facilities),, a waterless hand sanitizer such as an alcohol hand gel can be used. While cooking, especially when packing lunches, you can prevent food from spoilage and minimize contamination by three to four times a day with a so bristled brush or a wide toothed comb. Wash your brush and comb every time you wash your hair. O the scalp, once a week, p an how before h wash. There are no completely s or permanent hair dyes of now. Apart from causing scalp allergies, dyes can also cause aller ic colds and throat conditions. Perform a sensitivity test every time you use hair colour.


This is defined as an organ of sight that converts light impinging on it. into nervous impulses.
* eat food rich in vitamins A (e.g. carrot, fish, etc.)
*do not allow chemicals to enter the eye
*avoid using dirty hands on your eye

Modest young women should be taught to wash themselves. A dip is quite different from the daily bath personal hygiene demands. Soap and water are essential for keeping the skin clean. A good bath once or twice a day is recommended, especially in tropical L like Nigeria. Those who are involved in active sports c r work out to a sweat would do well to take a bath alter the activity. A mild soap will do the job adequately. Germicidal or antiseptic soaps are not essential for the daily bath. You can use a bath sponge for scrubbing. Back brushes and heel scrubbers where available. Do not use abrasive materials. Genitals and anus need to be cleaned welt because of the natural secretions of these areas. Unhygienic conditions can cause irritation and infection. Wash off well after soaping. Drying with a clean towel is important. Avoid sharing soaps and towels. Change into clean underwear after bath. Around middle age, the skin tends to go dry. A moisturising oil or cream can be used. It s better to use this at night, because if you go out in the sun or commute on dust roads when the skin is wet, dust sticks to it and oils may also give you a tan.

Give your feet a good scrub with a sponge, pumice stone or foot scrubber that is not made of very abrasive material when having a bath. Dry after bath between toes. Keep toenails clipped. Those who use shoes constantly need to slip them off now and then. This airs the socks a bit and makes them less smelly. Wear cotton socks. Wear a clean pair every day. Powder your 1F€ before wearing socks. Many people have sweaty feet, and socks and shoes can get quite smelly, If possible do not wear the same pair of shoes every day. Keep at least one more pair and use it alternatively. Go for a pedicure once in three weeks. Give importance to wearing comfort in the choice of fool: wear. For those who go barefoot indoors, door mats must be cleaned or changed frequently. Extra foot care is required for diabetics.

Menstrual Hygiene
No woman feels completely comfortable when she has her period. If it is not pre menstrual tension or stomach cramps, it is the problem of dealing with the menstrual flow. Technology offers sanitary pads, tampon!; or menstrual cups or caps to deal with the flow. The user has to decide what suits her best. Absorbent pads may be noticeable in some fitting clothes. They cause some soreness on the inner thighs. Whatever the preference, washing is important. There need be no taboo about bath on these days. Some people have the problem of odor during rnenstrua Cleanliness and change of pad/tampon as often as is necessary reduces this problem. It is not advisable to use perfumed pads or tampons. In fact, usil1g powder in the genital area is not recommended.
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