Sanitation and hygiene are two major factors that affect our health. We know that health is a state of well being and is essential for a purposeful existence. Good health is not only freedom from sickness and diseases but a complete absence of anxiety, social and psychological tensions. If there is any deviation in harmonic functioning of our body, our health gets affected and we may get sick. Maintaining proper sanitation and good hygiene practices are necessary for healthy living.
Sanitation means all measures that promote.
proper disposal of human and animal wastes (solid as well as liquid wastes). It also includes disposal of hazardous wastes from hospitals/industries/other sources. • use and proper maintenance of toilets. • avoiding of open defecation and protecting health and wellbeing of the people.
Sanitation includes steps to ensure access and use of toilets by everyone. It also includes ways to separate human excreta from coming in contact with other individuals. One of the important factors to maintain proper sanitation is to end the practice of ‘open defecation’. This may be done by involving individuals and community members to build, maintain and use toilets. Therefore, sanitation is often associated with our surroundings or environment.
Hygiene is a set of practices performed for the preservation of health. Hygiene is often associated with our body. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.”
One of the most effective ways to protect ourselves and others from diseases is to adopt good practices of personal hygiene. These may include:
• taking bath at least once a day. • washing hands after using the toilet. Before preparing food or serving food. Before and after eating food. If someone around you is infected with cold or any other infectious disease. After handling pets and domestic animals. • brushing teeth in the morning and before going to bed. • rinsing mouth after every meal. • wearing clean clothes.
We will now try to find out how improper hygiene can affect our health negatively. Have you come across a person with a strong unpleasant body smell. You must have experienced this in a crowded places such as bus, train, etc. You may have also felt that your body is smelly sometime.
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Vishwasi Sangati is a registered, charitable non-profit organisation working for the total welfare of the people in the unreached / remote villages of India.
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