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| Last Updated:18/10/2014

Latest News(Archive)

Latest News

On World Day, UN spotlights handwashing as vital tool in fight against Ebola

UN News Centre, 15 October 2014

 

As the world celebrates the seventh annual Global Handwashing Day, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is spotlighting how the simple practice not only saves lives, but is also instrumental in the fight against Ebola.

 

“Handwashing with soap is one of the cheapest, most effective ‘vaccines’ against viral diseases, from the seasonal flu, to the common cold,” Sanjay Wijesekera, head of UNICEF’s global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes, said in astatement on the Day.

 

UNICEF is using this year’s Day to raise awareness about Ebola in the affected countries, counter misconceptions and promote handwashing to combat the further spread of the disease. The agency has distributed protective supplies such as gowns, gloves, and bleach – as well as 1.5 million bars of soap in Sierra Leone alone, and millions more in Liberia and Guinea.

 

“Our teams on the ground in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are stressing the importance of handwashing as part of a raft of measures that are needed to halt the spread of Ebola. It is not a magic bullet, but it is a means of additional defence which is cheap and readily available,” said Mr. Wijesekera. Read more....