There are several problems that have adverse effects on humanity. These problems vary from social, economic, political and health issues. It is vital to spend some time describing and analyzing problems before trying to come up with possible solutions. Rushing into solutions to problems can increase the complexity of the problem. This essay analyses the problem of lack of proper hand washing that is evident in my community.
Lack of hand washing has been a prolonged problem in my community. This problem requires a solution within the shortest time possible. This is because it has tremendous health, economic and social effects on my community.
What is the problem?
The problem that this paper focuses on is the lack of proper hand washing in my community. According to health care practitioners, individuals must wash hands with soap at certain occasions. These include before taking in any food stuffs, after visiting the toilet, before handling infants, just to name but a few. Even though this is a healthy practice, my community practices it rarely. This ranges from the old, young, learned and unlearned individuals in the society. We have had several media campaigns addressing the practice of hand washing but my community has not shown any sigh of changing.
The audience for this proposal is the health care practitioners of my community. These include the doctors and nurses that serve the community. This audience is relevant to the problem in question because they have training as health care personnel who value sanitation and the health of the community. This audience has an understanding on the importance and effects of hand washing. They can also come up with ways of sensitizing the community on the importance and practice of hand washing.
Possible courses of the problem
The first course of poor hand washing in my community is socialization. My community is in a rural environment. The ideas that flow from generations have an influence the way people behave. The community values washing hands before taking main meals, but they rarely wash hands after eating fast foods. Another observation is that most people do not wash hands with soap before eating. They only use water which is not a recommendation by the health practitioners. Many people do not value washing hands after visiting the toilet or before handling infants. These practices flow from generations during the socialization process. There are also some beliefs in my community that I can say are irrelevant. An example is pregnant women not washing their hands with soap. Some people still follow these beliefs foolishly.
The other course of this problem is the lack of sufficient sensitization from the side of the government. Hand washing sensitization has not gone up to the grass root because of the rural environment of my community. Most of the sensitization has been via the local media which only a few villagers own. The individuals do not receive sufficient information on the importance of proper hand washing. As summary on the possible courses of this problem, ignorance of hand washing could be seen as the main course.
Why the problem matters
One of the issues that make this problem be an issue of concern is the health effects that come along with it. There are several infectious diseases that result from lack of proper hand washing. This is because individuals contaminate their internal systems with dirt that comes from dirty hands. Examples of such diseases are diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera. Information from local dispensaries shows that over 50% of infant infections are as a result of lack poor hygiene. Children are prone to putting their fingers in the mouth. They also eat fast foods in the course of their playing. Parents should teach their children on the importance of proper hand washing. It is also the responsibility of parents to take care of the hand hygiene in the infants (Friedman and Petersen, p. 31).
Another shocking revelation is that approximately 20% of the total infant deaths in my community are due to poor hygiene. 5% of the deaths of mature people in my community are as a result of lack of proper hygiene. The highest contributor to hygiene issues in humanity is the practice of poor hand washing. This is because it is the hand that interacts with the mouth most of the time. This allows toxic substances from the dirty hands to enter into the body system. If people in my community learn the art of hand washing, the death and infection prevalence due to lack of proper hygiene will reduce (Friedman and Petersen, p. 31).
This problem also matters so much to me because of the economic effects it has on families and my community at large. Most people spend a high percentage of their scarce financial recourses for treatment of infections that result from poor hygienic conditions. My community dwells the rural areas and hence their incomes are relatively low. Spending lots of money on treating infections they can avoid is a waste of time and resources. This expenditure also courses deficits in other aspects of the budget. Individuals who have these infections are not in a position to engage in productive activities. Those taking care of the sick can not also continue with their daily economic activities. This implies that lack of proper hand washing comes with a lot of economic costs to my community (Selendy, p. 473).
The second economic course is the death of individuals with a lot of potential in them. Many people die before realizing their potential due to poor sanitation. This is a loss because it costs the community a lot of resources while organizing for burials. It is a high time that the community considers these economic losses and appreciates the practice of hand washing. These resources can be useful in coming up with other development projects that may benefit the community (Selendy, p. 473).
From the discussion in this essay, lack of proper hand washing is a problem that affects my community. Many people do not wash their hands after visiting the toilet, before eating or handling infants. Some of those who wash their hands do not do so with soap. It is a high time for health care practitioners to start a door to door campaign, to sensitize community members on the importance of proper hand washing. This is because the local media campaigns have not been fruitful in my rural community. This will help in reducing the level of infections and the subsequent deaths that result from this poor practice.
- Friedman, Candace. & Petersen, Kathleen. Infection control in ambutory care. Canada: Jones and Bartlett publishers, Inc, 2004. Print.
- Selendy, Janine. Water and sanitation related diseases and the environment. New York: John Wiley and sons, 2011. Print.