In Third World (Africa, Asia, Bangladesh) the World Health Organization does good work telling the locals that they save lives and prevent disease by washing their hands. It's part of the work of agencies like the Division of Healthy Environments and Sustainable Development .
Immigrants from those areas are sometimes a danger to public health—to repeat myself:
Third World immigrants dont understand the germ theory of disease, and may refuse to believe it even if we teach it to them.
Well, now this problem has broken out in Canada, of all previously-believed-to-be-clean places, where the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has decided [PDF] that, as matter of human rights law, that employees aren't endangering anyone's health by not washing their hands.
The decision involved a woman who had immigrated to Canada, gone to work at McDonalds, and was still working there twenty years later when she developed some horrible skin condition that prevented her from washing her hands.McDonald's tried to accommodate her, but there are few jobs in a restaurant for someone who can't be trusted to touch the food.
What gets me is that the tribunal argued that:
there was no evidence of:
- the relationship between food contamination and hand-washing;
- the risk to the public if Ms. Datt's hand-washing was limited
It looks like the World Health Organization has new worlds to conquer.