On the weekend of April 4, 2020, Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor embarked on a door-to-door sensitization effort to rally Liberians to take the fight against the deadly Covid-19 seriously; just hours before the West African nation recorded its first death since the country confirmed the first case on March 16, 2020.
“It is not just enough to tell people to wash their hands and keep social distances without showing what those messages mean in practical terms,” she told the locals.
VP Howard Taylor stressed that she personally took on the initiative to go from door-to-door so that our people can understand the seriousness we as leaders attach to this disease outbreak by providing buckets, hand sanitizers, a metal foot propelled hand washing stations to the Catholic Hospital, Liberian Vegetables Sellers Association and carwashers.
The metal foot propelled handwashing station would be placed at areas that have many people like markets, hospitals and schools- when kids shall have returned to classes. “You can wash your hands at the metal foot handwashing station without touching anything, which makes it safer,” she noted.
She distributed other disinfectants to enable them get the message about the verulent nature of the disease clearer and keep safe.
“I joined others across our nation to help spread the message that – CORONA VIRUS IS REAL. My message was accompanied by tangible actions through the distribution of buckets for members of several communities, including the Sophie Ice Cream and Catholic Hospital Communities,” the Liberian Vice President stated.
Veep Howard Taylor pointed out that many residents had heard the message but had no hand washing supplies that ensure that they practicalize what they’re told to do.
Chief Dr. Howard Taylor indicated that the initiative is part of her office’s continued social responsility to her people during this critical period that saw over 150 families reached.
She reminded them: “wash your hands regularly; keep apart from one another; sneeze in the elbow of your arms; and if you have a fever go to the hospital. Knowledge is power. Please join the campaign by encouraging others to do the same.”
“The virus is transmitted primarily by your hands; what you touch would eventually reach your body. Washing your hands is a core part of the prevention regime to ensure that you and your family stay safe and healthy. You could use clean water with soap, dethol, alcohol based handrubs, water with chlorax, etc. Do it as often as possible because you could touch a surface that is contaminated and infect yourself or others close to you without knowing it,” the Liberian first female Vice President intimated.
According to her, the virus is not just ruining lives in Liberia but lives are being lost across West Africa, Africa and the entire world. So, she said “please be safe by following the prevention regimes advised by the health experts. Otherwise, she stated that if anyone feels sick like having a fever, contact the nearby health facilities for assistance.
” This is my own way of joining President George Manneh Weah to raise the awareness needed to help our people as we all fight this battle against coronavirus,” VP Howard Taylor emphasized.
The dethol was donated by Lucky Development Corporation, owner of Lucky Pharmacies in Liberia and the alcohol based handrubs were produced locally and donated by pharmacists at A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine, University of Liberia.
She admonished people to suspend entertaining visitors at their homes or allowing kids to go out at this point in time considering the situation Liberia and the rest of the world face. “What is more important is the fact that people can be infected with the virus without showing any symptoms. This means you do not know who is the visitor you are welcoming to your house.”
The door-to-door awareness is one of several anti Covid-19 initiatives undertaken by the Office of the Vice President of Liberia.
With hand under his cheek, Mr. John Milton said “the fact that the Vice President herself could walk from door-to-door to explain to us the seriousness of this disease outbreak means we need to join hands to fight against this disease. It is not a respecter of person or class. Anyone can contract the virus and an entire family would be at risk. It is not normal for a leader of the stature of the VP to come out herself. She could send some of her trusted staff to do this. This disease is very serious.”
Sitting on the porch of an unknown family, little boiled eggs seller, Emmanuel said “I know school closed because of the coronavirus. If we go to school and any of our friends get it, we would be as risk too. So the government told us to stay home.”
Health Authorities in Liberia have announced that the country has 14 confirmed cases with three deaths.