Clean Hands Can Save the World

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By now, we all know the dangers and impacts of pandemic diseases. Over the last year and a half, we have faced the biggest global pandemic in the 21st century, affecting millions of people worldwide, changing the way we work, study, and commute. However, COVID is not the only health-threatening communicable disease that affects us today. With this in mind, the UN Sustainable Goal 3 focuses on improving strategies and policies that safeguard the health and wellbeing of the human population. 

One of Goal 3 main targets focuses on working together to end epidemics of diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other infectious diseases by the year 2030. While this is a huge task, countries around the world are now doing their best to prevent infections from getting out of control. The COVID pandemic has also served to educate the population about viral transmissions. 


How to Fight the Spread of Communicable Diseases? 

Transmission and prevention might be slightly different from one kind of disease to the other. However, there are a couple of things that remain the same in fighting the spread of infections and form good hygiene habits, such as:

  1. Wash and dry your hands regularly and well with soap or hand sanitizer. 
  2. Stay at home if you are sick and dispose of any used tissues or garments correctly. 
  3. Wash your clothes and bedding regularly
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes. 
  5. Clean surfaces, such as tables and door handles, regularly.
  6. Open windows to allow clean air to circulate inside.
  7. Prepare food safely, clean foods and surfaces and make sure you cook each item correctly. 
  8. If you are sexually active, make sure you practice sex safely. 


What Are Infectious Diseases? 

Infectious diseases, also known as communicable diseases,​ are illnesses caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. These are spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, bodily fluids, blood, insect bites, or through the air, directly or indirectly, from one person to another. However, the spreading medium and level of contamination are directly related to the specific disease or infectious agent. 

Because infectious diseases can impact the population, their surveillance and control are essential in protecting the public's health.

More than 200 infectious diseases are listed in the American Public Health Association (APHA) Control of Communicable Diseases Manual Some include:




Influenza: seasonal; pandemic

H1N1 swine flu 

Lyme disease

Aids - HIV 

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains one of the most significant and communicable diseases in the world. 


World Aids Day 1 December

According to the UK National Aid Trust, in 2019, it was estimated that 105,200 people were living with HIV in the UK. Additionally, approximately 1.2 million people in the US have HIV. And although these numbers are shocking on their own, globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. 

Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day. The day looks to raise awareness about the disease, educate people about prevention, and help those who currently suffer from the disease. World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day. 


But, what is Aids, and how is it transmitted? 

Aids is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV. It affects your body by damaging the immune system, potentially interfering with your body's ability to fight infection and disease.

HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). However, it can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Without medication, it can take years before HIV weakens the immune system to the point that you have AIDS. However, there's no cure for HIV/AIDS. Medications can help slow the progression of the disease and have managed to reduce the number of deaths worldwide. 

The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection. Some sufferers have reported feeling flu-like symptoms at the very early stages. However, because of this, many go undiagnosed for some time. But as the virus progresses and continues to multiply, it destroys immune cells making it harder for the body to fight infections. 

The good news is that scientists have developed more effective medications that help people live and control their diseases over the past few decades. Also, it is important to point out that you can't catch HIV or AIDS by hugging, kissing, dancing or shaking hands with someone who has the infection. HIV isn't spread through the air, water or insect bites.


How Can You Help Prevent Communicable Diseases from Spreading?

You can help by making sure you always keep your hands clean. Sanitation is one of the main ways to prevent any disease from spreading. You can also make sure you do your own research to understand how diseases spread. 

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Thinking Cap On


Do some research with the help of an adult. Compare and contrast various diseases, search for microscopic images of the different viruses and bacteria and figure out how germs are transmitted. Then make a poster to put in your local community board or school to share your knowledge with other people. 

Finally, take a picture of your poster in action and ask your parents to share it with us on social media by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.