Fr. Sanctus Mario
Inspiration and Bible Reflections




​Types of hygiene, Importance of hygiene,

Effect of poor hygiene.



What is hygiene?

The word “hygiene” is derived from the Greek word “hygieinos” which means healthful, or relating to health.

It is a science of health and its maintenance system of principles for the preservation of health and preventing diseases. It is also the condition to maintaining health especially through cleanliness.


Types Of Hygiene


Personal hygiene

Environmental hygiene

Domestic hygiene

Food hygiene


  1. Personal hygiene


Personal hygiene which involves the cleanliness of one’s body and clothing, proper living habits, healthy diet, rest, and exercise, basically means cleanliness of your body.

Good personal hygiene means keeping all parts of the physical body clean and healthy. It is an essential part of maintaining both physical and mental health.

In people who practice poor personal hygiene, the body offers a perfect environment for the growth of germs, hence leaving it vulnerable to infection.


The main goal of personal hygiene is to improve or enhance personal standards of cleanliness, within people’s living conditions.


Some of the personal hygiene practices include bathing, washing clothes, washing hands, proper use of the toilet, caring for the teeth, nails, feet, personal grooming, maintaining good practices when either spitting, sneezing, or coughing, and inculcating clean habits at a young age.


  1. Environmental Hygiene


The aim of environmental hygiene is to create safe spaces so as to prevent diseases. In general, environmental hygiene involves disinfection activities (to control the harmful organisms and bacteria that threaten health), rodent control, disinfection, and fumigation activities.


When the environment is polluted with toxic waste through either spitting or vomiting, the State is accountable for the respective cleaning of the environment using companies that are in the field of environmental hygiene.

This way, children and other people who use the same street are prevented from falling ill due to exposure to such waste.

Environmental hygiene takes care of the health of both current and future generations.


  1. Domestic hygiene


This involves cleanliness, the sanitary preparation of food, and ventilation, it generally means cleanliness in homes.

Domestic hygiene practices include all the work done to keep people’s clothes, bedding, and houses clean.

These activities include washing clothes and bedding, cleaning the toilet, sweeping and cleaning floors, and washing dishes after meals. It is important to keep the house clean so that it remains a healthy place.


In the case where the house and things in it are not often cleaned, dirt and moisture accumulate, making the house ideal for the breeding of parasites, germs, and! disease-carrying animals. These germs can cause infection or sickness to the people living in the house.


Domestic hygiene also entails the use of soap, proper ventilation, fresh air, hygiene in food storage, proper waste disposal, and keeping away household pests, rats, and insects.


  1. Food hygiene


One of the greatest risks to the health of a population is contaminated food. It is a leading cause of disease outbreaks and transmission.

Food that is kept for too long contains pathogens or toxic chemicals whereas foodstuffs that are consumed raw, such as vegetables and fruits, can get contaminated by flies, dirty hands, or unclean water.


Food that has been improperly prepared can also lead to chemical poisoning. For instance, improperly pounded and cooked cassava leaves may contain dangerous cyanide levels.

Therefore, to promote good health, food should be prepared and stored properly.


Any facility where food is prepared or served for public consumption must adhere to the set hygiene practices by health regulating agencies.

These systems are put in place to regulate the general environment where food is prepared, the methods used to prepare and serve it, how the food is stored, and the per




Good hygiene is critical for preventing the spread of infectious diseases and helping children live long healthy lives, it also prevents them from missing school, resulting in better learning outcomes. For family’s good hygiene means avoiding illness and spending less on healthcare.


Personal hygiene might be represented as the guideline of keeping up cleanliness and grooming the outer body.

We have known about the significance of cleanliness for many years. Keeping up personal cleanliness is vital for some reasons like personal, social well-being, mental or basically as a lifestyle.


Keeping a decent standard of cleanliness prevents the spread of diseases. Awareness must be created among the people so that they realize the importance of personal hygiene. Washing hands, using hand sanitizers before you take food and after using the washroom, brushing your teeth twice a day, taking a bath every day are some of the most basic things you can do to maintain your personal hygiene.



The following reasons are some of the importance of good hygiene:


Body Image


Self-image impacts confidence, certainty, and inspiration. The individuals who as of now have low confidence regularly disregard personal cleanliness which sustains the issue of poor self-image.


Social media


Television, Fashion and other filmy magazines advertise about the importance of hygiene and portray the specific how to look and well ness image, which is influencing today’s youth. Youth and even young kids are particularly impacted by this; physical appearance being a definitive factor by which people are judged.


To kids, youngsters and the individuals who try to imitate their role models, these things have to be borne in mind,


The primary thing to acknowledge is that you will presumably never resemble those ideal examples in the media – however, you can try and look great to the vast majority of people if you take care of your hygiene.


Finally, great hygiene practices will keep you sound, boost your confidence and look pleasant for everyone around you.


Social Reasons


We all hate to be talked about, at least a majority of us, particularly in a negative way. By making sure that our body is well represented and neat, we represent ourselves in a positive way, thus reflecting a decent personality.

Youngsters ought to be educated about the significance of cleanliness and how to accomplish good hygiene right on time to keep themselves as well as other people sound and to diminish the danger of being mocked at school or college.


Health Reasons


Poor cleanliness causes sickness. On the off chance that you have cut yourself, the injury must be cleaned and dressed properly. Care must be taken that the wound does not get infected due to external harmful bacteria.

It is very true that if you maintain good personal hygiene, you can minimize infections and health problems.




Having proper personal hygiene is vital in a person’s daily life. Daily routines keep the body clean. Examples of these are handwashing, brushing of teeth, washing your hair, using deodorant and scrubbing your body with soap and water.


The effects of poor hygiene are as follows:


  1. Body Odour


From the interaction of sweat and bacteria produced from the endocrine glands, it produces body odour. From unwashed sweat, bacteria increases and as time passes by, it results in a smell. Overall, it starts with poor personal hygiene.


  1. Bad Breath


Bad breath is another typical result of poor hygiene. You can get it from irregular flossing and brushing of teeth. The bacteria grow on food particles that get stuck in the teeth. When the bacteria digest this leftover, they produce an odour that associates with bad breath.


Another reason, according to the American Dental Association, for bad breath is that the food in your teeth starts to rot producing a foul odour.


  1. Urinary Tract Infection


A majority of infections are a result of bacteria that reside in the intestines called the Escherichia coli. When these bacteria manage to reach the urethra, it moves to the bladder and kidneys which may result in pain, fever and urinary tract problems.


Proper toilet habits are needed to avoid getting infected. Ensure to clean your hands after you use the toilet. Use soap and water or an alcohol jelly to remove any bacteria that may cause an infection completely.


  1. Dental Diseases


Bad breath is not the only by-product of poor dental hygiene. It also leads to a series of dental diseases. A plaque begins to form, at the start, where the food particles and bacteria gather. The bacteria within the plaque breaks down your teeth’s enamel when it releases some acids.


As this continues, a calculus starts to form. It is a hard substance that can irritate the surrounding gums that leads to inflammation of gums, gingivitis and when worst comes to worst, gum disease. This disease destroys your teeth when it causes an infection.


  1. Body Lice

Body lice are insects that grow in clothes and bedding. These insects bite areas in the waist, armpit and groin area as these are the most convenient for them to creep into the skin from clothes. It is necessary to take regular baths and wearing of fresh clothes regularly to avoid these insects.


In conclusion hygiene is a necessity for all, we must all learn to lead an hygienic way of life, good personal hygiene is directly related to less illness and improve cleanliness.


Thanks for reading and God bless you.


Meet the Writer


Mrs. Winifred Agbodesi Ighekpe (RN, RM, BNSc) is a professionally qualified Nurse. A sound family planning counselor, Mrs. Winifred is an experienced Health Educator and an expert on Health related matters, who currently works with the Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency.


She’s an astute business woman, a church warden and parishioner of St. Andrew Catholic Church, Aruogba, Benin City, Edo State. She’s happily married and blessed with amazing children.


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