Wash Your Hands! Preventing the Spread of Ebola

UNMEER Schools Reopening with Handwashing Stations

Following CDC guidelines, children in Guinea queue up to wash their hands using a UNICEF hand-washing station on March 11, 2015. Note that they have been discouraged from having physical contact with one another.  Photograph by Claude Adrien de Mun, courtesy of UNICEF

UNICEF Handwashing Station

UNICEF distributed handwashing stations like this one throughout the region, including at the school in Guinea

To prevent the spread of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, everyone—healthcare professionals, adults, and children—was urged to wash his or her hands frequently. During the epidemic, washing your hands was a collective responsibility, and to that end governments and NGOs distributed soap and disinfectants to families. Handwashing stations were set-up by hospitals, treatment centers, schools, businesses, and community settings such as markets. They usually consisted of a bucket and/or pail, and hand cleaners (soap and often times diluted bleach solutions). They sat on their own stands or were placed on ledges, chairs or stools. And, when need be, communities would improvise with materials on hand, such as bamboo.