UAE: Students learn good health goes hand in hand with hygiene

The results of the international Dettol HABIT Study (Hygiene: Attitudes, Behaviour, Insight and Traits) were recently presented to health and safety professionals by expert professors from the Global Hygiene Council in Dubai. During the symposium, the Dubai Ministry of Education invited a number of young school students to learn about the importance of hygiene.

Professor Tariq Madani of the King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, held an interactive workshop for the children, which involved a demonstration of the Interactive ‘Glow germ Booth’.

The Dettol HABIT Study was carried out in 12 countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the only countries where face-to-face interviews were conducted. The study found that people who have good manners have better personal hygiene and are almost two and a half times more likely to have good health with low levels of colds and diarrhoea.

These results highlight the key factors that influence different hygiene behaviours and the importance of good hygiene (such as effective hand washing and household cleaning) and good manners (such as covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing) in breaking the chain of infection.

The results showed that someone who cares about being mannerly is less likely to declare a preference for antibacterial soap and unusually, men (not women) are more likely to report better health. In addition, in terms of age older people are more likely to report regular hand washing with soap.

The study also showed that tidy/orderly individuals are more hygienic than messy/chaotic people, women and older people tend to be more hygienic than men and younger people and that homemakers display the highest levels of personal and household hygiene whilst students and office workers display the worst.

Levels of personal and household hygiene were highest when hygiene habits were undertaken automatically or as part of everyday routine and for those who are aware of the threat of germs. In addition, people who have heard of antibacterial soap are significantly more likely to have better personal hygiene habits.

See below a TV interview with Prof. John Oxford, chairman of the Hygiene Council, who discusses the results of the Dettol HABIT study.

For practical information on good hygiene practices visit the Hygiene Council web site.

Source:, 15 Jul 2011 ; AMEinfo, 31 May 2011

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