Not washing your hands often enough may lead to serious health issues, including cervical cancer.
During a discussion on the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination in Jakarta on Wednesday, specialist doctor and oncology consultant Andrijono shared how he recently detected the HPV virus on the mouth of one of his patients following a saliva sample test.
“The patient later admitted that they like to eat with their hands,” he said as quoted by tempo.co.
Many people also tend to close their mouth when coughing, which may lead to bacteria or germs being transferred to their hands, and later can enter their body again whenever they put their hands on their mouth.
“That’s why it is advised to cover your mouth using the elbow area between your upper and lower arm when coughing. Do not use your hands,” said Andrijono.
To prevent the spread of diseases, most hospitals now provide antibacterial hand gel near each of their rooms to encourage visitors to clean their hands before entering.
“This habit should also be applied at home; as it is advised that you wash your hands first before entering your house. Or use alcohol to clean the bacteria and germs on your hands.”
According to cancer research Globocan’s 2012 data, up to 26 Indonesian women die every day due to cervical cancer. The Health Ministry previously unveiled that there are at least 15,000 cases of Indonesian women infected by this type of cancer every year.
As cervical cancer is caused by the infection of HPV virus, which could be easily transmitted through sexual activity as well as non-sexually through bacteria and germs, the primary prevention effort other than having a HPV vaccination as early as possible, is maintaining your body’s cleanliness.