Tamil Nadu Board of Secondary EducationHSC Science Class 12

Maintenance of Personal and Public Hygiene




Maintenance of Personal and Public Hygiene:

  • Hygiene is a set of practices performed to conserve good health.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hygiene refers to “conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases."
  • The maintenance of personal and public hygiene is very important for the prevention and control of many infectious diseases.
  • Personal hygiene refers to maintaining one’s body clean by bathing, washing hands, trimming fingernails, and wearing clean clothes and also includes attention to keeping surfaces in the home and workplace, including toilets, and bathroom facilities, clean and pathogen-free.
  • Public hygiene includes proper disposal of waste and excreta; periodic cleaning and disinfection of water reservoirs, pools, cesspools, and tanks, and observing standard practices of hygiene in public catering.
  • Many infectious diseases such as typhoid, amoebiasis, and ascariasis are transmitted through contaminated food and water.
  • In cases of air-borne diseases such as pneumonia and the common cold, in addition to the above measures, close contact with the infected persons or their belongings should be avoided. For diseases such as malaria and filariasis that are transmitted through insect vectors, the most important measure is to control or eliminate the vectors and their breeding places. This can be achieved by avoiding stagnation of water in and around residential areas, regular cleaning of household coolers, use of mosquito nets, introducing fishes like Gambusia in ponds that feed on mosquito larvae, spraying of insecticides in ditches, drainage areas, and swamps, etc.
  • In addition, doors and windows should be provided with wire mesh to prevent the entry of mosquitoes. Such precautions have become more important, especially in the light of recent widespread incidences of vector-borne (Aedes mosquitoes) diseases like dengue and chikungunya in many parts of India.
  • Advancements in science and technology provide effective controlling measures for many infectious and non-infectious diseases.
  • The use of vaccines and adopted immunization programmes have helped to eradicate smallpox in India.
  • Moreover, a large number of infectious diseases like polio, diphtheria, pneumonia, and tetanus have been controlled by the use of vaccines and by creating awareness among the people.
  • Biotechnology is at the verge of making available newer and safer vaccines.
  • The discovery of antibiotics and various other drugs has also enabled us to effectively treat infectious diseases.
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