Numerous elements contribute positively towards quality of life, but cleanliness and hygiene are one of the top and basic essentials. In Pakistan, there is an urgent need to inform and educate people about the importance of cleanliness in our society and daily lives. As citizens, we might not have control over other environmental pollutants, but we definitely can play our part by ensuring our immediate surroundings are kept clean.
We usually forget that, as inhabitants of this country, we are equally responsible for it. Sadly, it seems there is no concept of cleanliness amongst us, and wherever one sees, they witness heaps of garbage lying on the streets, overflowing sewerage lines due to clogging and ‘pan ki peek’ on most walls.
Nobody realizes that these conditions are a hotbed for severe illnesses. Unhygienic conditions in and around one’s house can be the cause of a plethora of diseases i.e. diarrhea, food poisoning and gastric related illnesses, which affect around 60 – 70 million people annually.
The importance of cleanliness cannot be ignored on an individual as well as community level. Plus, since ‘cleanliness is half part of our faith’, therefore as an individual, one is liable to not only keep their surrounding clean, but also assist the local authorities through social cleanliness drives and by spreading awareness amongst the community.
The best place to start off is one’s own household. It’s important to root out dirt and pests that can make you sick and eventually cost you trips to the doctor. If your home is free from all sorts of unhygienic elements, it positively impacts the lives of your family too.
Basic hygienic tips for one’s household involve the washing of hands, especially when coming back from outside; cleaning sink and countertops regularly; sweeping and moping with cleaning agents; taking off shoes before entering the house; throwing away rotting food and etc. These are some of the basics which if followed daily will greatly reduce the risk of bacterial growth at home.
Contaminated food also contributes to gastric diseases. The World Health Organization reported that 40 percent people suffer from enteric diseases caused by contaminated food in developing countries of the world. Food contamination occurs due to different reasons like unsafe food packaging, food transportation under unhygienic conditions and etc. One cannot control the contamination of food in an external environment, but can avoid food contamination in their homes. It’s important to have a proactive approach towards food preservation. Raw food like vegetables, fruits should be kept in the lower part of the fridge, while cooked food needs to be covered it properly and keep in the top section of the fridge. One should also ensure to utilize cooked food within two days.
The sight of overflowing trash cans looks horrible. On the top of that, majority of the people throw garbage in the bins irrespective of the fact that it’s soggy or dry. Most of the people have trash bins without lid, contributing to stink, and hence attracting flies at homes. To avoid this stinky smell, place a couple of dryer sheets or other absorbent material in the bottom of the trash to absorb spills or dampness.
Many people nowadays prefer health-centric appliances for their homes. Keeping in perspective the hassle of today’s fast paced life, corporate organizations have introduced innovative home appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners, equipped with insect repellant technology. The advanced technology has an ability to ward off insects or pests, from inside of the appliances and its surrounding area.
By adopting a hygienic lifestyle, one can be saved from a lot of preventable diseases. ‘Prevention is better than cure’, and there is a dire need to make conscious efforts to educate people about the significance of cleanliness and proper hygiene. In this regard, the government should also play its vital role in legislating stringent laws against littering and implement it around the country.
(This article has been written by Maliha Akhter)