#AfricaMaskWeek launches to build continental movements for mask wear

At a time when COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world are on the rise in a second wave and people are tired of the societal social measures, #AfrikaMaskWeek is being launched to maintain and increase the wearing of mask as a protective measure among populations. in Africa.

#AfricaMaskWeek starts today across the continent, from 23 to 30 November 2020. Led by the Pandemic Action Network, in partnership with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), the African Union Office of the Youth Envoy, the African Youth At the forefront of Coronavirus, Resolve to Save Lives, and many other organizations, this week-long social media campaign will encourage masking across the African continent.

Until there is a vaccine or medicine, mask wear, hand washing and physical distance are the best available tools to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The key to controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the absence of a vaccine is to adopt the age-old public health strategy of wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly and keeping a safe distance. of others “, said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC. “As we intensify testing and contact tracing to identify and treat infected people across the continent, you can become infected by simply wearing a mask to prevent respiratory droplets from reaching your nose and mouth.”

In August 2020, the Pandemic Action Network led more than 40 organizations around the world to hold World Mask Week, providing a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the need for greater use of face masks in public places and especially in institutions where physical distance is impossible.

More than 55 partner organizations are currently working together to implement the #AfricaMaskWeek initiative to mobilize support and action for increased mask wear as an essential measure to prevent COVID-19 infection and ultimately the spread of COVID-19 at the community level stop. African countries.

The week will include various activities, including a virtual launch event today at 18:00 East Africa time, which will include discussions on wearing a mask and the benefits of controlling the spread of COVID-19. Throughout the week, social media campaigns and online events will be presented by corporate and private entities and individuals across the continent to wear masks. Individuals can show their support by sharing photos and messages about wearing masks with the hashtag #AfricaMaskWeek.

The registration link to join the kick-off event is: # AfricaMaskWeek23Nov2020. Meeting ID 916 5711 1736 and password 072567.

Recent data suggest that mask wear is declining in Africa as COVID-19 continues to spread. African leaders and the public must continue to practice what stops the spread. More than 40 African countries have introduced policies on the mandatory use of masks in public, but there are challenges in complying with the policy. The implementation was contradictory and in some cases affected by human rights violations. Furthermore, there are documented rumors, misinformation, disinformation and stigmatization about wearing mask. The #AfricaMaskWeek is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of consistent and correct mask wear, to address misperceptions and to mobilize compliance.

“Africa has the youngest population in the world. The youth of Africa are innovative, resilient and have shown unprecedented leadership before and during the response to the pandemic. The victory of this fight against the COVID-19 lies in the hands of young people, therefore, I appeal to young people across the continent to join #AfricaMaskWeek and continue to wear a mask. COVID-19 is still here and is still being distributed in Africa. Protect yourself and protect others. Let’s save our continent. Mask up, stand up and do not give up the fight! ‘said Aya Chebbi, Special Envoy for Youth of the African Union.

#AfricaMaskWeek reminds us to wear masks consistently and correctly to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. “#AfricaMaskWeek is a call to action for leaders and the people of Africa,” said Gabriel Fitzgerald, co-founder of the Pandemic Action Network. “Leaders should set an example by consistently promoting mask wear and by wearing a mask in public. We must not rest or stop practicing things that will help stop the spread of COVID-19, such as hand washing, physical distance and mask wear. “.

For more information on #AfricaMaskWeek, please visit www.africamaskweek.com and https://africacdc.org/download/africa-mask-week-23-30-november-2020/

About the Pandemic Action Network

The Pandemic Action Network consists of more than 55 member and affiliated multi-sector organizations that are taking collective action to end COVID-19 and ensure that the world is prepared for the next pandemic. The network’s mission is to promote policies that save the most lives and protect livelihoods, both during this COVID-19 crisis and in future pandemics. In August, the Pandemic Network launched World Mask Week, 7 – 14 August 2020, kicked off by the #WearAMask social media challenge, issued by the WHO Director – General, dr. Tedros, and has involved more than 40 global partners to reach 3.5+ billion. people in 145 countries with positive messages to raise awareness about the impact of wearing a mask and to encourage wearing a mask.

About the African Union

The African Union leads Africa’s development and integration in close cooperation with the African Union countries, the local economic communities and citizens of Africa. The vision of the African Union is to accelerate progress towards an integrated, prosperous and inclusive Africa, at peace with itself, and to play a dynamic role in the continental and global arena, effectively driven by an accountable , efficient and responsive Commission.

Read more at: http://www.au.int/en

About the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capabilities of Africa’s public health institutions, as well as partnerships to quickly and effectively detect and respond to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programs.

Learn more at: http://www.africacdc.org.

CONTACTS:

Network for pandemic actions

Herfs Lerner (VS)

herfs.lerner@pandemicactionnetwork.org

+ 1-206-234-1156

Krystle Lai (UK)

krystle.lai@evokegroup.com

+ 44-7425-517326

Africa CDC

James Ayodele

Ayodelej@africa-union.org

+ 251953912454

For further inquiries in the media, contact:

1. Me Wynne Musabayana | Head of Communications | Directorate for Information and Communication Commission of the Afrikaans Union | Email: MUSABAYANAW@africa-union.org |

2. Mnr. Gamal Ahmed A. Karrar | Senior Communications Officer | Directorate for Information and Communication, Commission of the Afrikaans Union | Email: GamalK@africa-union.org

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