Friday, July 13, 2007

We know it, but we just don't wash our hands

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: The next time you shake another person’s hand, just be aware that the majority of Malaysians do not wash their hands after sneezing or coughing.
The startling discovery was made in a survey involving 1,000 housewives nationwide in the 2007 Hygiene Council Survey.
Malaysian Committee Member and Specialist in Infectious Disease of the Global Hygiene Council Dr Christopher Lee said while 45 % of the respondents were aware of the importance of washing their hands after coughing or sneezing they did not follow through.
“It is interesting to note that the awareness has increased from 30% last year to 45% this year.
“Malaysians also believe that playgrounds and nursery were the likely place to catch an infection (50%) as compared to homes (5%) and more than 60% of the respondents were of the opinion that the toilet basin had most germs in the house.
“Five percent thought that door handlers had the least germs,” he said during a media briefing on Thursday, adding that the latter perception was inaccurate.
Also present during the presentation was Reckitt Benckiser Malaysia and Singapore’s marketing director Anthony Palmer.
Palmer said the Hygiene Council was formed in 2006 and brings together 10 experts in the field of virology, microbiology, infectious diseases, immunology and public health.
“The Hygiene Council focuses on prevailing hygiene practices in 10 different countries and offer realistic recommendations to the public on the importance of hygiene in the home and community.
“Last year, The Hygiene Council released the results from its first survey, which is now an annual one, and we discovered some rather worrying facts and figures regarding Malaysian’s hygiene habits,” he said.

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