The Ministry of Health (MOH) has stepped up the campaign to wear mask to avert the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Country. Liberian Health Minister, Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah embarked on the exercise on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, with nose mask distribution to street peddlers, including photographers, bike riders as well as private and commercial drivers in Monrovia.
The Minister’s latest move is aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, which is an extension of President George Manneh Weah-led government’s 1 Million Masks Project, headed by Mr. Presley S. Tenwah.
Minister Jallah drew attention to the importance of proper use of nose mask, right from selection of the type of masks to the right way to wear, remove, and properly dispose them. The Ministry will follow up the nose mask campaign with public campaigns, stressing on the practice of washing hands with soap and water or by using a hand sanitizer as well as maintaining physical distancing.
“As of today, we will continue this exercise club together into one message. The messages pertain to wearing mask, washing hands, and maintaining a safe requisite distance. It will be conducted one at a time in order to make it the focus,” Dr. Jallah said.
Nose mask wearing, according to the Minister, when adopted as a culture by every Liberian, would prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people.
“At least if you wear the mask, you will protect yourself, you will protect me, and you will protect your family,” she told petty traders at the Boulevard Junction in Congo Town.
She expounded that wearing mask is a crucial practice in reducing risk of contracting the virus. However, mask should be used properly and be supported by other health protocols, such as handwashing with soap water and ensuring a physical distance of at least one meter among people.
“The purpose of this mask distribution is that it can keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control.”
” We have recommended nose mask wearing, which is key to preventing the virus even though it is difficult to keep on, but by adopting the culture of mask wearing, we can eradicate the virus.”
According to Hon. Jallah, when the mask is worn over nose and mouth, it will reduce spread of the virus: “The virus spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of mask is particularly important in settings where people are closed to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain; therefore, we want you to please wear your mask while you are in public,” Dr. Jallah pleads.
She emphasized the importance for Liberians to believe the existence of the COVID-19, adding that collaboration and collectiveness is the best tool to fighting any global pandemic.
“This virus exists among us so we must work together collectively to stop its further spread by wearing our mask; order than this, we will continue spreading the virus among us”, she cautioned.
The energetic and farsighted Minister thanked H.E. President George Manneh Weah for entrusting her to contribute to the Country, especially in the Health system where she serves as Minister.
Director of Communication, MOH