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Nigerians encouraged to protect their homes through disinfectant, bleach use

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One of the lessons COVID-19 has taught people is the need to disinfect their homes, offices and hands to maintain hygiene and more people all over the world have seen the need to protect themselves by maintaining a hygiene-friendly environment.

Cleaning and disinfecting are important for reducing the spread of viral illnesses as some viruses may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning surfaces followed by disinfection is best for preventing the spread of viral illnesses.

Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but removing them lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Disinfecting does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs that remain on a surface after cleaning, disinfecting can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

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Family Physician and Head of Medical Services, College Medical Centre, Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos, Dr Rotimi Adesanya, in an interview with The Guardian, said bleach is an active ingredient which is effective in killing bacteria, fungus and viruses. He said it could also be used to clean surgical equipment, disinfect environment and other household items. “Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, denatures protein in micro-organisms and is effective in killing bacteria, fungus and viruses. Household bleach works quickly and is widely available at a low cost. Diluted household bleach is thus recommended for the disinfection of environment and facilities.

“In the hospital, we call it chemical disinfection using diluted bleach solution (1:100). This is used to disinfect surfaces, medical equipment, instruments, bedding and reusable protective clothing before it is laundered. Bleach is also recommended for rinsing gloves between contacts with different patients (if new gloves are not available) rinsing gloves, aprons, boots before leaving a patient’s room; disinfecting contaminated waste before disposal. To prepare 1:10 bleach solution, add one volume of household bleach (e.g 1 litre) to nine volumes of clean water (e.g. nine litres),” he said.

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The World Health Organisation, in a paper published in 2014, stressed the importance of bleach in fighting germs and the influenza virus. The paper, titled, ‘Infection Prevention and Control of Epidemic and Pandemic Prone Acute Respiratory Infections in Health Care,’ was published on www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK214356/#_NBK214356_pubdet_
“Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant – its active ingredient sodium hypochlorite is effective in killing bacteria, fungi and viruses, including influenza virus. Diluted household bleach disinfects within 10 and 60 minutes contact time, is widely available at a low cost and is recommended for surface disinfection in health care facilities.”

Also, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has said bleach can be used to treat water.

The NCDC in its week 22 report published in June this year said personal hygiene is vital in fighting cholera outbreaks. “Cholera is a disease condition associated with ingestion of contaminated foods and drinks and poor sanitary conditions. Control measures for cholera outbreaks are hinged on practices of safe water use, general hygiene practices and environmental hygiene. If a chlorine treatment product is not available, household bleach can be used to treat water. Add eight drops of household bleach for every one gallon of water or two drops of household bleach for every one litre of water and wait 30 minutes before drinking.”

With less than N40, there is no excuse to live in a dirty environment. The hypo bleach sachet comes at a price within range which is more affordable than other similar brands in the market and comes in different sizes to suit everyone’s pocket.

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In this article:
CholeraDr Rotimi Adesanya
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