Healthy Living, Hand Hygiene

Hyderabad: Dr P. Vinay Kumar, in his video titled Healthy Living, emphasizes the importance of hand hygiene and shows how to wash hands and save water.

He being a surgeon, has to constantly wash his hands before every surgery. If the hands are not washed properly the surgeon can transmit infection to the patients during surgery. Says Dr Kumar.

He says palm of the hand is the most infected area because we keep on touching a lot of things. So palms should be washed thoroughly by rubbing both the palms together with soap.

The second most infected area is under the nails, which is called the nail bed. He advises to cut the nails as close as possible to the bed so that nothing can lodge under the nails. It is the most fertile area where dirt and infection deposit easily.

The third most sensitive area is the web¬ — the space in between the two fingers. Dr Kumar says, because of two reasons the web is most sensitive. One reason is, the web space is a closed area so infections deposit there easily. The other reason is, as this area is damp due to moisture and sweat bacteria or viruses breed there. Therefore, these three areas should be washed thoroughly.

He also gives importance to the back of the hands, and forearms which are always in contact with the surfaces. Therefore, hands should be washed thoroughly up to the elbows.

On saving water while washing hands he says, the moment a person wets his hands and applies soap to the hands, he must close the tap immediately by pressing or pushing the tap with elbows, avoiding wet fingers which are already contaminated.

“We are instructing people to wash hands for a long time up to 20-40 seconds because there would be a huge wastage of water during this time. If we collect that water in a bucket, then we will realise how much water is being wasted. So avoid wasting water.” Says Dr Kumar.

He further states that today coronavirus may affect 5-30 percent of the world’s population but water shortage will effect 100% of the world’s population.
Dr. Kumar emphasizes on the fact that the world may get rid of the virus soon but if we face a water crisis, we may never be able to overcome that problem. Hence, we all must save water.

He states the reason why he is advising everyone to close the tap with elbows while washing hands is because, if the water is running while washing hands, psychologically, a person will be in a hurry to close the tap and may not wash his hands properly.
If the tap is closed with elbows, there will be no wastage of water and one will concentrate on washing his hands properly.

Dr Vinay Kumar is a Surgical Gastroenterologist, Laparoscopic Surgeon at Apollo Hospital Hyderabad and a Socio-Politician.