Good personal hygiene habits for everyone

Good personal hygiene habits include:

  • washing the body often. If possible, everybody should have a shower or a bath every day. However, there may be times when this is not possible, for example, when people are out camping or there is a shortage of water
  • If this happens, a swim or a wash all over the body with a wet sponge or cloth will do
  • cleaning the teeth at least once a day. Brushing the teeth after each meal is the best way of making sure that gum disease and tooth decay are avoided. It is very important to clean teeth after breakfast and immediately before going to bed
  • washing the hair with soap or shampoo at least once a week
  • washing hands with soap after going to the toilet
  • washing hands with soap before preparing and/or eating food. During normal daily activities, such as working and playing, disease causing germs may get onto the hands and under the nails. If the germs are not washed off before preparing food or eating, they may get onto the food
  • changing into clean clothes. Dirty clothes should be washed with laundry soap before wearing them again
  • hanging clothes in the sun to dry. The sun’s rays will kill some disease-causing germs and parasites
  • turning away from other people and covering the nose and mouth with a tissue or the hand when coughing or sneezing. If this is not done, droplets of liquid containing germs from the nose and mouth will be spread in the air and other people can breathe them in, or the droplets can get onto food

Fig. 3.17: Washing the body helps keep it free of disease-causing germs

Fig. 3.18: Cleaning teeth helps keep gums and teeth healthy.

Fig. 3.19: Washing hands after going to the toilet helps stop the spread of germs.

Fig. 3.20: Washing hands before preparing food helps keep germs out of our bodies.

Fig. 3.21: Washing hands before eating food helps stop germs getting into our bodies

Fig. 3.22: Washing clothes helps keep them free of disease-causing germs.

Fig. 3.23: Hanging clothes in the sun helps to kill some disease-causing germs and parasites.

Fig. 3.24: Covering the nose and mouth when sneezing helps stop the spread of germs.


When there are too many people in any house, the likelihood of them getting disease is greater than if the house is not overcrowded. This is because people in an overcrowded house will be much closer to each other and it is therefore easier for any germs to spread from one to another. For example:

  • sneezing and coughing in crowded rooms makes it easier to spread cold and flu germs
  • sharing towels can spread trachoma germs and other germs which cause eye infections (runny or sore eyes)
  • several children sleeping in the same bed makes it easier to spread a scabies infection

Fig. 3.25: Overcrowding helps spread germs and parasites such as scabies.

Each house is designed to allow a particular number of people to live there comfortably. This number will depend upon the number and size of the rooms, especially bedrooms, and the size of other facilities such as the sewage system and washing and cooking areas.

If the number of people living in the house is greater than the number it was designed for, these facilities will not be able to cope properly. For example, large numbers of people using the toilet may mean that the septic tank will not be big enough to take and treat the additional load of sewage.

For good health and comfort, the number of people who should live in a house depends upon the factors outlined below.


While most people who live permanently in a house will have a bedroom to themselves or share one with one or two other people, other rooms are often used as bedrooms. The number of people who should sleep in a room will depend upon the amount of air which is available to each person. The law requires that each adult person has at least 13 cubic metres of air and each child has at least 10 cubic metres of air in a sleeping area.


Usually, a household septic tank system with 2 round tanks caters for a maximum of ten people.


The facilities within the house may not be able to handle all of the demands placed on them by the occupants. For example, the hot water system may not be able to produce enough hot water, or the amount of food to be chilled is too great for the refrigerator to hold.

In Indigenous communities, overcrowding in houses occurs for a number of reasons, such as:

  • there not being enough houses for the number of people who live in the community
  • families not being able to afford to pay rent on a house of their own and needing to live with relatives to share the cost
  • people visiting relatives and staying for a long time
  • visitors coming to stay so that they can attend special events such as funerals


No Fruit Juice For Children Under A Year

Juice. Many people think of it as a healthy drink, something that should be part of a child’s diet. But it turns out that it’s not necessarily healthy at all — and doesn’t need to be part of a child’s diet. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics just came out with the recommendation that children under a year should drink no juice at all. This is a change from the previous recommendation, which was that children shouldn’t have juice before six months of age.
This recommendation may seem surprising, but here’s why experts aren’t wild about juice:
• It doesn’t have much nutritional value. Yes, there are some vitamins in it, and the ascorbic acid in some juices can help the body absorb iron. But children are always better off eating the fruit (or vegetable) itself instead of the juice. It’s healthier and has fiber the body needs.
• It can lead to cavities, especially when children carry around bottles or sippy cups and drink little bits all the time. When children do this, there is cavity-causing sugar in the mouth all the time.
• It can lead to overweight. Our bodies are designed to eat our calories, not drink them; we don’t get filled up by juice, no matter how many calories of it we drink.
• It can lead to diarrhea, especially in toddlers.
• It can actually interfere with the absorption of some medications.
It’s true that juice is healthier than, say, soda. But when it comes to overweight and cavities, juice isn’t all that different. The point is simply that children don’t need it. Water and unsweetened milk (or fortified alternative milks for those with allergies or lactose intolerance) are the only beverages a child really needs. And as I said above, the better way to get whatever nutrition a juice might offer is to eat fruits and vegetables instead.
After a year, it’s okay to give a child juice, with some caveats:
• Keep it to one serving a day. For children younger than 7, a serving is 4 ounces; for 7 to 18, it’s 8 ounces.
• Make sure it’s 100 PERCENT juice. There are a lot of fruit “drinks” out there that have lots of sugar and little or no juice. Read labels carefully.
• Make sure that any juice you give your child is pasteurized, for safety.
• Don’t give juice in a sippy cup or bottle! This is very important for preventing cavities. If you’re going to give that one serving of juice, have it be something your child sits and drinks from an open cup and finishes in one sitting, not something he or she carries around (or that you stick in the diaper bag for outings). If you want to bring something along, have it be a reusable water bottle.
These are guidelines — and with any guideline, there may be exceptions (if your child is on an iron supplement, for example, your doctor may want you to give it with orange juice). If you have questions about this recommendation, or anything else about what your child should eat or drink, talk to your pediatrician.


Everybody at one time or another have had the experience of eating food and some time later becoming sick. This is called food poisoning. The symptoms may include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pains
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling weak
  • fever or chills/sweating
  • headache

Fig. 3.26: Food poisoning comes from harmful bacteria on food.

Food poisoning can be caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, chemicals or poisonous metals such as lead or cadmium. Most food poisoning, however, is caused by bacteria and because of this, only bacteria will be discussed in this section.

Food which has become contaminated with harmful bacteria does not always taste bad. Most of the time it looks, smells and tastes like it normally does.

Some food poisoning diseases are more common than others. For example, disease caused by Staphylococcus aureus occurs a lot more often than disease caused by Clostridium botulinum.

Some foods cause food poisoning more than others and need to be cooked properly and/or kept in the refrigerator. These include chicken, meat, seafood, eggs, cooked rice, ham, salami, milk and all dairy foods. It is important chicken is cooked properly to the bone and then kept in the fridge for no more than 2 days. If reheating chicken, or left-overs, make sure it is steaming hot and only reheat it once.

It is important to remember that the same food handling practices are used to prevent all food poisoning diseases. Washing your hands with soap and drying them on a paper towel or with a clean cloth is the best way to stop the spread of bad bacteria.

The four most common types of food poisoning bacteria are discussed below.


These bacteria are found on the skin, in sores, infected eyes and in the nose, throat, saliva and bowel of humans. There may be many of these bacteria in the yellow mucus (slimy substance) which comes from the nose or is coughed up when a person has a cold or a lung infection.

Staphylococci do not cause illness until they get onto food and grow and multiply. While they are doing this they produce a toxin (poison). It is the toxin which causes the illness. The toxin is not destroyed by cooking the food.

Symptoms of staphylococcus food poisoning usually appear between 1 and 8 hours after eating the infected food.


There are hundreds of different types of salmonella bacteria but not all are harmful to humans. They are found mainly in the intestines, bowels and faeces of humans and other animals. It is the salmonella bacteria themselves which can cause salmonella food poisoning.

Fig. 3.27: Bacteria on food.

People can get salmonella food poisoning from:

  • poor food handling practices in the home or in food outlets
  • seafood caught in polluted water or eggs with dirty shells
  • meat or poultry which has been contaminated by poor food handling before it gets to the food outlet, such as at the abattoir

Salmonella food poisoning takes up to 48 hours to develop after the food is eaten. Symptoms include nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, fever and headache, and may last between 3 and 21 days. It can cause death in very young, weak or very old people. People who have cancer or are taking medication for serious health conditions such as heart, kidney or liver problems need to also be particularly careful that they eat safe food.


These bacteria are found in the soil and in the intestines of animals, including cattle, poultry, fish and humans. Food poisoning caused by clostridium bacteria is important to know about because these bacteria are common in the environment.

People can get clostridium food poisoning from poor food handling practices in the home, in the factory or in a food outlet, especially relating to cooking and storage/refrigeration temperatures.

Clostridium food poisoning symptoms occur about 12 hours after eating the contaminated food and are similar but usually less severe than the other types.

Symptoms include stomach pains, diarrhoea and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Symptoms last about 24 hours.

One type of clostridium bacteria produces a very serious food poisoning disease called botulism. This disease is caused by eating food which is contaminated with an extremely poisonous toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Unless properly treated about one-third of people who get this disease die within 3-7 days.


These bacteria are found in many animals including dogs, cats, cattle and poultry. The sources of infection from these bacteria are usually contaminated food and water.

People can get campylobacter from:

  • ingestion of contaminated food or water (especially undercooked chicken & creek or river water)
  • contact with infected animals (especially puppies or kittens with diarrhoea)
  • poor food handling (especially by using the same chopping boards, knives and plates for raw and cooked chicken)

Campylobacter food poisoning symptoms usually last from 2 to 5 days. These include diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain, vomiting and fever. It is a serious disease in Indigenous communities because of the possibility of dehydration from diarrhoea.


Bacteria reproduce (breed) by splitting in half. When they do this they are said to multiply. In the right conditions, bacteria multiply at a very fast rate.

Fig. 3.28: Bacteria can multiply very quickly.

Disease causing bacteria grow best when there is:

  • warmth (37°C-38°C) (Note: human body temperature is 37°C)
  • moisture
  • food supply

In ideal conditions, bacteria double their numbers every 20 minutes. For example, if a piece of kangaroo meat infected with 100 food poisoning bacteria is left lying on a kitchen bench on a warm day, the bacteria will double their number every 20 minutes, and in 3 hours, the 100 bacteria will multiply to over 50,000 bacteria.
The following table shows how the bacteria will multiply on the meat over 3 hours:

Time Number of bacteria
Start ·      100
20 minutes ·      200
40 minutes ·      400
1 hour ·      800
1 hour 20 minutes ·      1600
1 hour 40 minutes ·      3200
2 hours ·      6400
2 hours 20 minutes ·      12800
2 hours 40 minutes ·      25600
3 hours ·      51200

It is important to note that once inside a person’s intestine the bacteria can continue to multiply. This means that a person may eat contaminated food having only a few bacteria on it, but eventually suffer from food poisoning.


Food can become contaminated with disease-causing bacteria anywhere the food is handled or stored. These places include:

  • in a factory where it is processed ready for sale
  • in a truck in which it is taken from the factory to the shop
  • in a shop
  • in a food outlet such as a school canteen or take-away shop
  • between the shop and home
  • in a home

Most food has to be prepared in some way before it is eaten. During this preparation the food is handled by people. There are many ways in which unhygienic practices can cause food poisoning bacteria to be deposited on the food while it is being handled. Some examples are:

  • Leaving food uncovered. Pets, flies, cockroaches and other insects carry germs, including food poisoning bacteria, which contaminate the food
  • Touching parts of the body while handling food. While preparing food a food handler might scratch a pimple, touch a sore, push back hair, scratch an ear or rub or pick the nose. Every one of these activities contaminates the fingers with bacteria. If the person’s hands are not washed before handling food again, these bacteria will be passed to the food.

Fig. 3.29: Rubbing the nose while preparing food helps spread germs.

  • Sneezing or coughing near food. If a food handler, or anyone else, sneezes or coughs near uncovered food, then the food almost will certainly be sprayed with bacteria laden droplets.

Fig. 3.30: Sneezing over food spreads germs.

  • Licking fingers while handling food. Human saliva carries staphylococcus bacteria and licking the fingers could result in these bacteria being passed to the food.

Fig. 3.31: Licking fingers while handling food spreads germs.

  • Not washing hands after going to the toilet during food handling. If a person goes to the toilet during food handling activities and does not wash his/her hands afterwards food poisoning bacteria may be passed onto the food.

Fig. 3.32: Washing hands after going to the toilet helps stop the spread of germs.

  • Poor handling of high risk foods. High risk foods are those which generally need refrigeration and have a high moisture content. Poor handling of high risk foods is a common cause of food poisoning. High risk foods include:
    • chicken, duck and other poultry
    • fish and shellfish
    • raw meat products
    • dairy products (milk, cheese, cream)
    • unpasteurized cow or goats milk
    • eggs and egg products
    • gravies

Cross contamination. Certain foods will always contain some bacteria. Poor handling of these foods may result in cross contamination. Cross contamination is the passing of bacteria from contaminated food to uncontaminated food. Cross contamination can occur when storing or handling food.


A high risk food, such as a raw chicken thawing in a refrigerator, is placed in contact with cooked meat. The bacteria from the raw chicken contaminates the cooked meat. Since the cooked meat is not heated again before eating, the bacteria from the chicken pass to the person who eats the meat.


Before cooking a fish which is contaminated with salmonella bacteria, a person uses a knife and cutting board to cut it up. Bacteria from the fish will be left on the knife and cutting board. The person slices cooked ham using the same knife and board without washing them first. The bacteria are transferred to the ham.



Medicines Manufactured by Mopson Pharma

The following are some of the top medicines manufactured by Mopson Pharma:

Neofylin Cough Syrup

Neofylin Cough Syrup by Mopson Pharma is commonly prescribed for the treatment of acidity, allergy, anaphylactic shock along with several other problems.
Neofylin Cough Syrup contains the salts Ammonium Chloride, Chlorpheniramine Maleate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate as active ingredients.
User reported uses
The most commonly reported use of this medicine is for ‘Cough relief’.
Use Patients
Cough relief 2
Common cold 1
Participants: 3

Haematone Tonic

Haematone Tonic by Mopson Pharma is commonly prescribed for the treatment of anemia, convulsions, eye disorders along with several other problems.
Haematone Tonic contains the salts Ferric Ammonium Citrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6 as active ingredients.
User reported uses
The most commonly reported use of this medicine is for ‘Anemia’.
Use Patients
Anemia 1
Participants: 1

Mopson Paraffin Tablet

Mopson Paraffin Tablet by Mopson Pharma is commonly prescribed for the treatment of painful conditions of rectum, painful conditions of the anus, temporary relief of constipation along with several other problems.
Mopson Paraffin Tablet contains the salt Liquid Paraffin as active ingredients.
User reported uses
The most commonly reported use of this medicine is for ‘Temporary relief of constipation’.
Use Patients
Temporary relief of constipation 1
Participants: 1

Supermag Antacid Suspension

Supermag Antacid Suspension by Mopson Pharma is commonly prescribed for the treatment of acid indigestion, acidity in the blood, gastric lavage in methanol poisoning along with several other problems.
Supermag Antacid Suspension contains the salts Light Magnesium Carbonate, Magnesium Trisilicate, Sodium Bicarbonate as active ingredients.
User reported uses
The most commonly reported use of this medicine is for ‘Heartburn’.
Use Patients
Heartburn 1
Participants: 1