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Background of the Study

Hand washing is one of the most important aspects of preventing diseases in our country Nigeria; thousand of lives have been lost as a result of diseases caused by in adequate washing of hands. Hand washing or hygiene is the act of cleaning hand with the use of water and soap or other liquid for the purpose of removing soil, dust and or micro-organisms (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) (CDC) (2013).

CDC (2013) states that hand washing are the act of washing hand with plane soap or detergent containing and antiseptic.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2013), Hand washing is the act of reducing or inhibiting the growth of micro-organism by the application of an antiseptic hand drop or by performing an antiseptic hand washing.

WHO also define hand washing as an act of performing hand hygiene for the purpose of physically or mechanically removing dust, organic materials and micro-organisms.

Hand washing is the first and foremost way of preventing disease which is said to remove or inhibit the growth of micro-organisms as indicated on WHO (2002), hand washing often act of vectors that carry disease causing pathogenic from person to person either through direct contact or indirect contact via surface. Humans can spread bacteria by touching other people’s hands, hair, nose and face. Hand that have been in contact with human faces, bodily fluids like nasal excretion and contaminated food or water can transport bacteria, virus and parasite to unveiling host. Hand washing with soap works by interpreting the transmission of diseases. Washing hand with water alone is significantly less than washing hands with soap in terms of removing germs. Using soap also means additional time consume during the massaging, rabbis and friction to dislodge them from fingers – tips and between the fingers. In comparing just using water for hand washing, Effective hand washing with soap takes 8 – 15 seconds followed by through rising with running water. According to CDC (2013), your hands are your primary ways of physical interaction with the world around you. As you touch things you pick up germs with hand and touch your face. You may inertly introduce disease causing germs into your body. Hand washing is a simple and effective way to prevent catching or spreading many communicable diseases which include, common cold, food poisoning, respiratory illness and diarrhoea and vomiting etc.

CDC (2013) further indicated that hand washing is one of the best way to prevent the spread of infection and illness in all. Settings and work places to child’s are facilities and Hospitals. Clean hand can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout the community.

According to WHO (2010) in the mid-1800s studies by Igan Z Semmel Wels, in Vierina, Australia and Oliver Wenden Holmes in Boston USA established that hospital acquired diseases were transmitted via the hand of health community workers. In 1847 Semmel Wels was appointed as a house officer in one of the two obstetric clinics at the University of Vienna Allgemeino Kranken (General Hospital). He observed that maternal mortality rate mostly attributed to Puerperal fever, were substantially higher in one clinic compared with other (in 16 percent versus 2 percent).

He also noted that Doctors and Medical students often go directly to the delivery suit after performing autopsies and had a disagreeable odour on their hands despite hand washing with soap and water before entering the clinic.

He Hypothesized therefore, that cadaverous paticidts were transmitted via the hands of doctors and student from autopsy room to the delivery theatre and cause the puerperal.

As a consequence Semmel Wels recommended that hand be scribed in chlorinated line solution before every patient contact particularly after living the autopsy room following the implementation of these measures, the mortality rate fall dramatically to 33% in the clinic most affected and remain low thereafter.

As general rule, hand washing protect people poorly or not at all from drops lifts and airborne diseases such as measles, chicken pox, influenza and tuberculosis. It protects best against diseases transmitted through oral routes.

Certain materials or substances are used in hand washing and preventing diseases spread of illness includes:

1.     Soap and detergent

2.     Ash and mould

3.     Hand antiseptic

4.     Solid antiseptic

5.     Anti bacterial soap

6.     Alcohol – gel

Hand washing with soap (H.W.W.SP) is among the most effective and expensive ways of preventing diarrhea and pneumonia which together are responsible for majority of child death. This behaviour is projected to become a significant contributor to meeting the millennium Development Goals of reducing death among children under the age of five by to third by the year, 2015 October, 15 has been appointed to become global hand washing day in accordance with year 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation by the United Nation & (WHO, 2013).                                               

Statement of the Problem

Many illness occur unnecessarily since the faces-oral route of disease transmission can be easily prevented (WHO, 2013). Infectious diseases that commonly spread through hand to hand include the common cold and severe gastro-intestinal disorders e.g. diarrhoea, ebola, vomiting (Water Aid. 2006).

Hygiene is without doubt a very important component in the reduction of global diseases burden. Hand washing as an aspect of hygiene has been highly recommended as a simple but effective way of hygiene (hand washing) has a measurable impact on reducing the burden of infection in the developing countries.

Correct hand washing is the single most effective ways to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Good hand washing techniques are easy to learn and can significantly reduce to spread of infection disease among both adults and children. Hand washing is one of range of hygiene promotions internationally. This research will focus attention on the effects of hand washing in public schools in Kaura Ward of Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Objective of the Study      

The aim of the research work is to find out the effect of hand washing on the prevention of infectious diseases in Public Secondary Schools. The specific objectives include:

1.     To find out the level of awareness on the affects of hand washing in prevention of diseases in public secondary schools in Kaura Ward.

2.     To Zaria LGA identify hand washing practices among students in public schools.

3.     To determine the diseases associated with poor hand washing in public secondary schools in Kaura Ward of Zaria Local Government Area Kaduna State.

Significance of the Study

The study intends to correct awareness on the effectiveness of hand washing among the students in public secondary schools in Kaura Ward in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the following people will benefit from the study.    

1.     School children, if the findings of this study are adopted and implemented, this awareness on hand washing will improved and reduce the rate of illness among students in public secondary schools.

2.     To the public when awareness is improved and better hand washing practices adopted it will reduce the rate of transmission of diseases related to poor hand washing among the students and consequently reduce the instance of extending to the public.

3.     To the community the death rate as a result of diseases related to hand washing will fall, the cost of treatment will reduce and the rate of poverty will also reduce. Is there difference between the public/community?

4.     To the Government, the cost of treatment will reduce, their will be reduction in mortality and it will also serve as a literature material in library and instrument for passing information to the general public to know the effect of hand washing.

Research Questions

1.     What is the level of awareness of the effects of hand washing in prevention of diseases in public secondary schools in Kaura Ward in Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State?

2.     What are the hand washing practices among students in public schools in Kaura Ward of Zaria Local Government Area?

3.     What are the diseases associated with poor hand washing practices among students in Public Secondary School in Kaura Ward Of Zaria Local Government Area?

Scope of the Study

This study is delimited to the effect of hand washing in prevention of diseases in public secondary schools in Kaura Ward of Zaria Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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