3.3  Public health importance of personal hygiene

The knowledge and practice of personal hygiene are vital in all our everyday activities. The purposes are:

Preventing faeco-orally transmitted diseases

The fingers may get contaminated with one’s own faeces, either directly or indirectly. Activities during defecation and child bottom-washing are additional opportunities for the contamination of the fingers that facilitate the transmission of infections.

Aesthetic values of personal hygiene

A person with clean hands is proud while eating because they feel confident of preventing diseases. A teacher in a school is always happy to see their students with clean faces and eyes, and dressed in clean clothes. A mother is mentally satisfied to feed her infant with clean hands because she ensures the preservation of her child’s health. Generally, cleaning oneself produces pride, comfort and dignity at home and in public places. Caring about the way you look is important to your self-esteem.

Social impact

A person with poor personal hygiene might be isolated from friendship because telling the person about the situation might be sensitive and culturally difficult. The success of a job application or the chance of promotion could be affected by poor personal hygiene; no company wants to be represented by someone who does not appear to be able to look after themselves.

3.2  Difference between cleanliness and hygiene

3.4  Components of personal hygiene