the VOA Special English Health Report.
study in rural Nepal shows the value of washing hands with soap and water in
preparation for childbirth. Researchers found that hand washing by birth
attendants and mothers increased the chances that babies would survive their
study showed that the risk of death was nineteen percent lower when birth
attendants washed their hands before delivery. And the risk of death was
forty-four percent lower when mothers washed their hands before they touched
from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States
did the study. They observed more than twenty-three thousand newborns. Almost
all were born at home or on the way to a medical center.
study says just fifty-three percent of birth attendants reported washing their
hands with soap and water before delivery. And only fifteen percent of mothers
reported washing their hands before handling their newborn.
than thirty-thousand newborns die each year in Nepal. Researcher James Tielsch
says the findings suggest that hand washing could prevent many of these deaths.
Bloomberg professor noted that several studies have shown that a mother's hand
washing can reduce the risk of diarrhea in young children. But he says this was
one of the first to examine the effects of hand washing on the first month
findings appear in July's Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
washing can prevent the spread of many infections. Hand washing is especially
important before and after preparing food, before eating and after using the
toilet. People should wash their hands after cleaning a baby and after handling
animals or animal waste.
washing is also a good idea after handling money and after sneezing or
coughing. And wash hands often when someone at home is sick.
say the most effective way to wash is to rub the hands together while using
soap and warm water. They say you do not need special antibacterial soap. Be
sure to rub all areas of the hands for about ten to fifteen seconds. The
rubbing action helps remove germs. Then rinse the hands with clean water and
hand sanitizers are rubbed into the hands and do not require soap and water.
Experts say these products must contain at least sixty percent alcohol to be
effective. Professor Tielsch says hand sanitizers are OK for mothers to use but
should not be used on babies' skin.
that's the VOA Special English Health Report. I'm Doug Johnson.