By: WASH R&E “Media” Network – Liberia on Thursday, October 15 joined other countries around the world to celebrate Global Handwashing Day 2015.
As part of celebration, the government of Liberia and partners in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector held an elaborate program marking the observance of the Day.
Similarly celebration was held in other parts of the country in observance of the Day by different organizations, including the Christian Charity, Living Water International Liberia and other Partners with similar celebration to mark Global Handwashing in Margibi County.
The celebration of the Day is aimed at promoting a global advocacy dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.
Introducing the official Indoor Program held at the William V.S. Tubman High School in Sinkor, Assistant Public Works Minister for Community Services, George Yarngo said the celebration of the Day is a clear indication showing that hand-washing is very significant.
Assitant Minister Yarngo said the idea was formulated 7 years ago by the Global Public Private Partnership for Handwashing.
According to him, since then celebrations of the Day are given a new profile each year globally.
Speaking on behalf of WASH partners, Oxfam Liberia new Country Director and Chairman of the Liberia WASH Consortium, Mary Kudla noted that Oxfam’s goal of promoting good health is through its WASH Program.
She said through the organization’s WASH Program, the charity has immensely contributed in making sure that people are healthy across the globe.
Madam Kudla commended WASH Partners and various government line Ministries for the level of planning in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector of the country.
The new Oxfam Liberia Country Director disclosed that hand-washing was a major factor in reducing the Ebola virus in the country.
She reminded the audience, especially students that they are the future leaders who should take the act of handwashing very serious.
Meanwhile, Madam Kudla has called on government to consolidate in decentralized WASH activities.
Making remarks on behalf of the government, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Katteh commended WASH partners for the celebration of the Day.
Dr. Katteh who is also Liberia’s Deputy Health Minister, asserted that the role of hand-washing in the prevention of diseases cannot be over emphasized, adding that hand-washing was a tool in the fight against the Ebola virus.
The Chief Medical Officer used the occasion to admonish Liberians not to relax the act of hand-washing, terming it as a key to good health.
He encouraged Liberians to continue hand-washing, describing it as a medium through which diseases can be eradicated and prevented.
Dr. Katteh pledged government’s support in making sure that hand-washing becomes fully practical in the Liberian Society.
WaterAid Transboundary together with partners in Liberia had series of awareness/media activities from October 13-15, 2015 to mark Global Handwashing Day by raising nationwide awareness on the importance of Handwashing.
The British Charity also urged government including citizens to sustain the good hand-washing practice as it is one of the cheapest, simplest and most effective tools in preventing the spread of WASH related diseases including diarrhoea, cholera, trachoma, respiratory tract infection, etc. and the fight against Ebola.
Global Handwashing Day celebration 2015 brought together WASH Partners and officials of government. It also brought together WASH Civil Society actors, including WASH Journalists in full attendance.
Global Handwashing Day is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times.