Liberia: Making Handwashing As A Long-Term Habit And A Norm Beyond COVID-19


Monrovia – The Liberia National Red Cross Society has joined the rest of the World to use this year’s Global Handwashing Day as a ‘call to action’ for communities to celebrate hand hygiene as a central part of the ongoing global response to COVID-19 and beyond.

COVID-19 has reminded decision makers and communities about the importance of hand hygiene, but said systems may need to be reimagined to sustain a culture of hand hygiene.

Liberia National Red Cross Society issued the statement on Thursday, October 15, 2020 in commemoration of the Global Handwashing Day under the theme: “Hand Hygiene for All”

The Red Cross Secretary General in the statement called on communities to strengthen their commitment to constant handwashing to help them control COVID-19, prevent other new emerging diseases, and fight against long term challenges like diarrheal diseases.

Mr. Ambullai Perry noted that having access to handwashing facilities, soap and water is an important first step but said it needs to be complemented with actions to change handwashing behavior so that handwashing becomes a long-term habit and a norm.

Mr Perry said although handwashing might be simple, it is one of the most effective ways to end Covid-19 and keep the communities saved and protected, adding that the health benefits of handwashing cannot be overemphasized.

The Red Cross at the moment is using local languages to engage and teach community handwashing techniques, distributing handwashing materials, and setting up public handwashing facilities to break further transmission of Coronavirus and prevent the spread of other diseases. 

The Red Cross Secretary-General said hygiene promotion should not be considered as a one-off event but rather an adaptive process that gets revised and adjusted in order to support sustained change, improve the health of populations, remind the community of constant handwashing and good hygiene practices and encourage self-care to promote clean hands.