CHRISMED Journal of Health and Research

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 77--78

Namastey!! Greet the Indian way: Reduce the chance of infections in the hospitals and community


Sudip Bhattacharya, Amarjeet Singh 
 Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudip Bhattacharya
Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh
India




How to cite this article:
Bhattacharya S, Singh A. Namastey!! Greet the Indian way: Reduce the chance of infections in the hospitals and community.CHRISMED J Health Res 2019;6:77-78


How to cite this URL:
Bhattacharya S, Singh A. Namastey!! Greet the Indian way: Reduce the chance of infections in the hospitals and community. CHRISMED J Health Res [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Jul 5 ];6:77-78
Available from: https://www.cjhr.org/text.asp?2019/6/1/77/252298


Full Text



Sir,

Hand hygiene is a simple, low-cost solution to prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAI) and influenza epidemics. There is enough scientific evidence that microorganisms responsible for HAI are commonly spread through hands of the patients, their relatives, and health-care workers.[1]

The WHO had also declared hand hygiene as the first pillar to promote the Global Patient Safety Challenge.[1]

In developing countries, the prevalence of HAI infection rates is reported to be >15%. More than 4000 children die of HAI every day in developing countries.[1]

In the community settings also, hand hygiene plays a vital role in preventing infections from spreading. As an example, during an influenza outbreak, it is also advisable to avoid shaking hands or hand-to-hand contact whenever possible.[2]

In many cultures, especially western, handshake is a commonly used practice to greet other people [Figure 1]. During the handshake, in addition to the physical connection, the two persons greeting each other are in close proximity. However, in the era of emerging and re-emerging pathogens responsible for epidemics and HAI, it is time to rethink about this form of greeting so that unnecessary physical contact and proximity among people could be avoided. This coupled with regular hand washing is good to maintain hand hygiene. In hospital settings and community settings, this becomes more appropriate due to impending risk of spread of infections.{Figure 1}

Such hand contact can be avoided using traditional (Indian, Sri-Lanka, Thailand, etc.,) form of salutation like Namaste [Figure 2]. Indians gesture to greet people using a folded hand. Here, the person greeting has to bow bent on the front side of the body, bowing the head and looking at each other's eye, forearm pointing upward with palms spread. The advantage of namaste is-it is a non-touch technique; such greeting maintains the distance between two persons. This is ideal for preventing any infections. It does not pose any negative feeling for either party. It can be an additional measure to prevent spreading any influenza-like epidemics globally.[3]{Figure 2}

It does not give away any indication of degree/kind of feeling of the person greeting like weak/strong/firm handshake. Besides this, there is a theory of positive and negative energy balanced between the right and left hand.[4] We should adopt this noble gesture and avoid handshake whenever we meet or greet.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1WHO,Evidence for Hand Hygiene Guidelines. WHO. Available from: http://www.who.int/gpsc/tools/faqs/evidence_hand_hygiene/en/. [Last accessed on 2018 May 10].
2Swine Flu Precautions. Available from: http://www.svcdc.org/swine_flu_precautions.php. [Last accessed on 2018 May 10].
3Parmar MS. Namaste or Handshake: Time to Ponder. The BMJ; 2018. Available from: https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/02/namaste-or-handshake-time-ponder. [Last accessed on 2018 May 10].
4Cirone MW. Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life. Yoga Chicago. Available from: http://www.yogachicago.com/2014/03/balance-your-chakras-balance-your-life/. [Last accessed on 2018 May 11].