NCDC launches POWERFUL H.A.N.D.S Campaign
Globally, implementing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) including hand hygiene remains one of the key public health strategies for the prevention and control of infections, particularly those caused by epidemic-prone pathogens. This is particularly true for the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Given the effectiveness of this strategy, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to intensify her risk communication (RC) efforts by implementing evidence-based RC activities to control the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. This has been of great benefit as the public is increasingly aware of necessary preventive measures to take to remain protected from the deadly virus.
Due to upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases in 2020, the NCDC launched the “#TakeResponsibility Campaign”. This emphasised the need for the public to continue to observe NPIs given the high infectivity of the virus. Similarly, the NCDC also on an annual basis commemorates the World Hand Hygiene Day which is part of the global advocacy efforts to specifically promote hand washing practices. All these efforts and measures have continued to contribute significantly to the reduction in incidence of infection among the public.
Consolidating on the above and to sustain RC activities for COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health through the NCDC on the 17th of May 2021 launched another key initiative named “POWERFUL H.A.N.D.S. Campaign” with the tagline the “Power to Stop COVID-19 is in Our Hands. This builds on the previously launched #TakeResponsibility Campaign and emphasises that prevention and control of COVID-19 is in everyone’s hand. The H.A.N.D.S. acronym denotes:
H- Have your hands washed and sanitised frequently
A- Always cough or sneeze into your elbow
N- No going out without a face mask
D- Distance of at least 2 arm’s length should be maintained.
S- Stay indoors and self-isolate if you feel sick
Aside the goal of reaching out to more Nigerians to ensure improved practices of hand hygiene and other COVID-19 preventive behaviours, the campaign also provided an opportunity to secure relevant stakeholders’ buy-in for a more sustainable initiative. In attendance were representatives from Honourable Minister for Health, European Union, United Nations, National Orientation Agency, etc.
The critical next step is to deploy already developed information, education and communication materials i.e. jingles, flyers, posters to our target audience across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. These are students, healthcare workers, caregivers, market women, media houses etc.
We remain grateful to the United Nations Basket Fund, Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) and other partners for supporting this initiative. The NCDC remains committed to working closely with all relevant stakeholders in promoting behavioural change in relation to the afore-mentioned practices among the public.
Summary of Incidents
1. Information for this disease was retrieved from the Technical Working Group and Situation Reports
2. Case Fatality Rate (CFR) for this disease is reported for confirmed cases only
3. Information for this disease was retrieved from IDSR 002 data
4. CFR for this disease is reported for total cases i.e. suspected + confirmed
5. Information for sentinel influenza was retrieved from the laboratory