5th May 2021, Monrovia: Under the theme “achieving hand hygiene at the point of care” with the slogan: Seconds save lives – Clean your hands! Liberia with support from WHO and partners joined the rest of the world to celebrate Global Hand Hygiene Day.
Hand Hygiene Day is celebrated every year on 5th May, to maintain global promotion, visibility and sustainability of hand hygiene in health care and to bring people together in support of hand hygiene improvement around the world. It is especially important this year as frequent handwashing is one of the key ways we each play a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Delivering the keynote address at this year’s celebration, the Honorable Deputy Minister for Health and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh requested the audience to reflect on the Ebola journey when one of the major ways of survival depended on hand hygiene and now COVID-19.
Dr. Kateh said the experience from the 2014 Ebola outbreak guided us through the process of what we are going through today. He said Hand hygiene day is not meant to force people to practice hand hygiene but, a reminder that it is what we need to do and it is the cheapest way to keep us safe.
He then thanked WHO and partners for supporting the MoH in the establishment of the Infection Prevention and Control programs at the National, County and Health Facility levels through the development of evidence based guidelines, training, monitoring and evaluation.
“The promotion of hand hygiene begins with healthcare workers and the sooner we begin this, the better for us” Dr. Kateh told the audience.
Also speaking during the program, Ms. Jessica Healey, Health Team Lead, USAID applauded the leadership of the Ministry of Health and all partners for organizing such an important event especially during this critical time.
She said USAID has been supporting the government’s effort in enhancing Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)activities across the country and is proud of the level of achievements made thus far. She pledged her institution’s continuous support to the government of Liberia in strengthening the WASH sector of the country.
The Global Hand Hygiene Day was also characterized by the certifications of healthcare workers who have contributed significantly to strengthening IPC efforts in their respective work places. Champions for sanitation and hygiene were also recognized during the event.
In attendance at the event were representative from government agencies, health partners, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the media.