Handwashing has been a central part of personal hygiene, as well as a religious and cultural custom for many years. The link between handwashing and health was made around 1856, by the ‘Father of Hand Hygiene’, Ignac Semmelweis, a Hungarian obstetrician. Even today, his idea of hand hygiene to prevent the spread of germs, plays a central role in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In recent years, handwashing with soap and other forms of hand hygiene are being recognised as a cost-effective and essential tool for good health.
"Did you wash your hands?" How many times did you hear that while you were growing up, and especially before mealtimes?
Just think about how many foods you eat with your hands. That crispy apple, those crunchy peanuts, and your healthy lunch-time salad roll. Now think about all the things you touched today: your cell phone, the toilet flusher, the supermarket trolley. Whatever you did today, your hands came into contact with germs. And that’s why it's so easy for germs on your hands to end up in your mouth.