Alhaji Isyaka Bashir, Programme Coordinator, Taraba State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, on Tuesday said frequent hand washing reduced mortality rate.

Bashir told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jalingo that hand washing was a simple hygiene and the most effective way of preventing infectious diseases.

He said that hands must thoroughly be washed after going to toilet, washing babies’ napkins, hand-shakes, before eating food, among others.

He added that research findings had revealed that most infectious diseases were transmitted through dirtied hands, such as using toilets, babies’ napkins.

“We know that the hands do carry germs and a gram of faeces contains about 10 million viruses."

“Its also contains about 1 million bacteria, 1000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs."

“So if the hands are not properly washed when they come in contact with these diseases, they cause great damage to the body system and that can eventually lead to death."

“Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to hand washing for healthy living."

“It is very important to wash hands after a hand shake because the hand you shake may look clean but it may be carrying some harmful micro organisms that you cannot see,” he said.

Bashir also said that lack of hand washing was a major cause of mortality rate especially in the rural areas.

He listed dysentery and diarrhea as some of the many infectious diseases which were killing rural dwellers due to lack of hand washing.

The Coordinator called on parents, teachers and community leaders to play great role in sensitising their children and the general public on the need for frequent hand washing.

Bashir listed other simple hygiene tips to include avoiding open defecation, sharing of cups, eating unclean fruits and consuming unclean water, among others.