Global Handwashing Day is October 15th. The first Global Handwashing Day was held in 2008, and the message about the importance of hand hygiene has never been more important than in 2020.
Handwashing is one of the most important ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 but it requires both knowledge and resources. Especially in times of pandemics, new cracks and holes in systems are magnified and more easily identified as gaps or barriers to infection prevention. Haiti, already the poorest country of the Western hemisphere, was chronically unprepared to deal with the arrival of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian Medical Foundation (CMF) is working with partners in Haiti to help bridge identified gaps that are currently impeding communities from strengthening their public health and healthcare to adapt to COVID-19.
Designated as a COVID-19 treatment site by the Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (MSPP), the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) in the Artibonite Valley activated its COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, which includes providing sanitary solutions to offset the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the local community.
These solutions include teaching households in local communities how to build “tippy taps”, which are hand-washing devices made up of a container that is filled with water and tipped with a stick and rope tied to the container, enabling contact-free handwashing. CMF is supporting HAS with the installation of Tippy Tap stations as well as community handwashing stations which will impact and service over 20,000 people in the local region.
Working together, supporting each other, we can stop the spread of COVID-19.