Cleanliness can be described as the state of being free from germs and the process of achieving and maintaining that state. In emphasizing the ongoing set of habits for purposes of prevention and maintenance, cleanliness concept differs from purity, which is a moral, physical or ritual state of being free from pollutants. Purity is a quality of a substance or an individual. Cleanliness implies a system of interactions; it has a social dimension. Cleanliness is related to disease prevention hygiene. One way of achieving cleanliness at practical level is by washing hands with water and some detergent. Cleanliness has played a role in forming cultural values in relation to cultural imperialism, humanitarianism, and social class. Cleanliness means an effort to remove hazardous materials and germs.
According to the proverb, cleanliness is next to godliness. The importance of cleanliness is also emphasized in the Bible. Many of the Bible cleansing rituals were related to access to a tabernacle; place where the presence of God manifested itself. Rules were given, according to which a person must be clean. If the person was not clean, he/she would be cut off from the community. Cleanliness has a different meaning to different people. For example, when a young child is called by his/her mother to wash his/her hands and face, he/she may think that holding hands under a running tap and wetting his/her lips is enough. However, the mother knows better. Fungus, germs, and any sort of growth can pile up in dirty clothing and bedding; cleanliness prevents the spread of germs and diseases (UN-Water 11).
Perception of Cleanliness
Standards of cleanliness are not equal around the world, and people have different understanding of cleanliness. In the past, a well-ordered and clean school environment in many countries gave the children an opportunity to develop appropriate cleanliness habits. In this era, some school grounds are full of debris and litter and they look like garbage more than an environment to read or exercise. Adults, on the other hand, are not good examples of cleanliness in the business world or in life. For instance, many public places are unsightly and messy. Industries and factories pollute the environment. Pollution is not caused by businesses or faceless industries, but by people. As greed is the main cause of worldwide problem of pollution and its ill effects, part of the problem is a result of personal unclean habits. Being neat and clean is important. Cleanliness should begin with the personal hygiene; it is vital for people to learn about hygiene and the diseases linked to lack of it. Certain habits like regular brushing of teeth, washing hands after visiting the toilet, and bathing are necessary to be taught from a tender age. These are personal habits. It is essential to follow certain rules like refraining from spitting on the road or in the house, avoiding littering places, and keeping our surrounding clean. Habits or behaviors picked at a tender age, whether bad or good, get into one’s personality (Jehovah's Witnesses pr. 4).
Cleanliness and Sanitation in the Cmmunity
Cleanliness and sanitation in the home and community and personal cleanliness are crucial to ending the spread of germs and preventing illnesses. Illnesses can be caused by eating contaminated foods, touching an infected person; they can be passed on through clothes or bed covers, insect or animal bites. When the people in community strive to improve sanitation, many health problems are solved, and this benefits everyone in the community. For example, joining hands together to develop water for cleaning and cooking will enable the community people to easily access clean water. The people in the community should also keep the drinking water clean by not bathing, washing clothes or utensils in it or letting the animals into the water source. Draining stagnant water in open containers, washing areas and in puddles will ensure prevention of breeding mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that breed in stagnating waters cause malaria fever.
The community can reduce flies by making sure that garbage is disposed of in a proper way. The garbage should be fenced off or covered to keep animals and bugs away if it is above the ground. If possible, plastic garbage should not be burned since the fumes can be poisonous to sick, young, and older people. Other wastes can be reduced, reused, and recycled. Several wastes can be recycled including plastics, magazines, and newspapers. Cleanliness, if to put it in better terms, can give a difference between life and death. A dirty environment affects the health of the people living in it. If people would like to stay healthy, then they should keep their environment clean. An individual should also ensure cleanliness in all sections of the home, including the toilet, especially the flushing toilet, bathroom, kitchen, and sitting room (Vigarello 61).
In conclusion, if technical health solutions are promoted, diseases caused by germs or poor sanitation can be prevented. Health promoters in the community should listen keenly and work with the people in order to improve health in a lasting way. The community will enjoy better health if they employ better methods of sanitation that fit their abilities and needs. Every individual should begin cleanliness from his or her own body before focusing on the cleanliness of his or her home, and finally the cleanliness of the community, in which the individual lives. Cleaning your home is not just disinfecting constantly, it also means being aware of the areas that are likely to spread infection and removing the germs before they cause danger. Experts are now concerned about the home hygiene in an effort to maintain the immune system of children that is not exposed to everyday viruses and bacteria. A healthy environment leads to a better and healthier life.