Media Alert: Clean Hands Help to Prevent Infections | Western Cape Government


Media Alert: Clean Hands Help to Prevent Infections

6 March 2011

The Western Cape Department of Health wishes to remind the public that good hand hygiene is essential to avoid viral infections that cause illnesses such as diarrhoea and flu.

The following steps should be followed when washing one's hands correctly:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water.
  • Soap your hands well.
  • Rub hands together and wash the palms of your hands.
  • Ensure that you also wash the top of your hands and between your fingers and thumbs.
  • Rinse well and air-dry or use a clean towel to dry your hands.
  • It is very important to use soap.

Parents and teachers should encourage children to wash their hands before eating and after playing outside or after visiting the bathroom.

Please ensure that soap is available at basins or taps that children use.

Vomiting and/or diarrhoea can quickly cause dehydration, especially in young children and the elderly. If you or a family member develop diarrhoea and/or start vomiting, immediately start giving the person a rehydration solution such as "Re-hydrate", or mix the following ingredients together in a clean jug or bottle: 1 litre boiled water that has cooled down, 8 teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt. The solution should be sipped regularly.

Seek medical help at your nearest clinic or hospital if your child shows any of the following symptoms. The child:

  • has sunken eyes
  • is pale and listless
  • cannot feed or drink
  • is vomiting up all liquids
  • passes very little urine
  • blood in the stool.

Please ensure that food and drinks stay covered with lids and clean cloths.

Issued by:
Directorate: Communications of the Western Cape Department of Health

Media Enquiries: 

Jo-Anne Otto
Communications Officer for Cape Winelands District, Worcester
Tel: 023 348 8109
Fax: 023 342 8501
Cell: 072 808 0106