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Wash your feet

November 27, 2011 - 21:07 -- William Jobin

There is recent interest in the odours from human feet and how they attract blood-sucking mosquitoes.  And apparently the odours are from bacteria on the skin, not necessarily of human origin.

This reminds me of the story of Ignaz Semmelweis of Vienna who confounded his physician colleagues by reporting that deaths in childbirth could be reduced drastically if the attending physician would just wash his hands.  Of course such a radical idea took a long time to be accepted.  In fact I think Semmelweis was drummed out of the profession.

However washing your hands has now been accepted globally, and I think the Cholera Center in Bangladesh advocates hand-washing as one of the most cost-effective means of preventing cholera, and other diarrheal diseases.

So let us apply this to malaria.  Let us tell mothers to train their children to wash their hands before meals, and wash their feet before going to sleep.

Is that too radical?