By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – Liberia on Monday of this week joined other countries of the world to commemorate Global Handwashing Day with official celebration taking place in Monserrado and Gbapolu Counties.
In Montserrado County, the celebration of the day started with a parade from the Duport Road Clinic in the City of Paynesville to the Paynesville City Hall for an indoor program.
Providing an overview of the program, Montserrado County Environmental Coordinator, Momo Kamara said celebration of the day is intended to raise awareness on the importance of hand washing.
Mr. Kamara indicated that the day serves as a reminder to the entire world about the pivotal role clean hands play in the fight against several diseases globally.
He said the celebration is another medium through which awareness can be raised to get the participation of community leaders, students and the society at large.
Also making remarks at the program, several international WASH partners including UNICEF, Care International, Latter Day Saints and PACS, among others stressed the need for robust awareness on the significance of hand washing to continue in the country.
They said hand washing after the Ebola process is no longer a practice by Liberians and foreign residents.
The partners cautioned Liberians that hand washing is not for Ebola only, but various kinds of diseases and viruses.
They encouraged Liberians to take hand washing serious to avoid the spread of diseases in the country.
Making remarks on behalf of the Government of Liberia, the head of the National WASH Secretariat, Abdul Koroma emphasized the need for the sustainability of hand washing.
Mr. Koroma said the issue of hand washing should not be an event, but a process that will be part of the day to day activities of Liberians.
Giving the special Global Handwashing Day Message, Student Tete Zayzay of the Marvii Sonie Public School used the occasion to remind the government of Liberia to ensure that WASH in schools and various communities should be supported.
Student Zayzay also admonished her fellow students to spread the message of hand washing in their schools and their respective communities.
October 15 each year is Global Hand washing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of hand washing with soap.
Every year, Global Handwashing Day is celebrated with events, campaigns, and handwashing programs around the world.
Before each Global Handwashing Day, the Global Handwashing Partnership selects a theme that will inspire celebrants and encourage handwashing with soap beyond October 15.
This year’s theme is “Our Hands, Our Future”, reminding us that handwashing protects our own health, but also allows us to build our own futures, as well as those of our communities, and the world.
Thinking of the future, we strive for continued health, well-being, and productivity for ourselves, our families, and our communities. Handwashing is an affordable, effective way to achieve these goals. For example, handwashing with soap could prevent many of the 272 million yearly schooldays lost to diarrheal disease, and 50% of the infections acquired in healthcare settings.
Handwashing with soap has the power to improve access to education for children, protect the health of patients and communities, and reduce inequities. It has an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals—contributing to zero hunger, good health, quality education, reduced inequalities, and more. Efforts on Global Handwashing Day to promote the benefits and practice of handwashing with soap, as well as fostering access to and improving hygiene facilities, will help us work towards a future where that potential is realized.