COVID19 – Toyin Saraki launches #SafeSurfaceScience Challenge with London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
23rd March 2020
The world is paying close attention to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, following its emergence in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. With the outbreak of a novel coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, people worldwide are working to address it, including Wellbeing Foundation Africa Founder Toyin Saraki who today announced the launch of the #SafeSurfaceScience Challenge with Professor Wendy Graham and a team of scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The move, launched to coincide with World Water Day, comes as part of the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and focuses on the importance of cleaning surfaces, including mobile phones, in addition to cleaning hands.
Toyin Saraki, who as well as being the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa is also Special Adviser to the Independent Advisory Group to the WHO Regional Office for Africa, has partnered with Wendy Graham, Professor of Obstetrics and Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, to encourage best practice in homes and healthcare facilities. Professor Graham commented:
“Many germs are spread by our hands. We have known this for centuries. We have also known that surfaces which are touched by many people, like door handles, taps or taxi seats, can also harbour germs, sometimes for days. In the fight against coronavirus – we must put this knowledge to good use and take action – keep hands and surfaces clean and safe. And if we do this for our families and community, we will also reduce the spread of other germs which make us sick.”
Toyin Saraki further explains the challenge as follows: “We know that washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds following the method shown by the World Health Organization, is the way to keep hands safe. And this must be done frequently. When in public places, try to avoid touching surfaces as much as possible, and if you have to touch – use moist wipes or hand gel afterwards, and wash your hands properly when you get home. And while you are out, make sure that you don’t touch your nose, your mouth or your eyes, because that’s how the virus finds a way into your respiratory system.”
“Keep surfaces in your home clean, too. You can do this with frequent wiping down with clean water and soap or detergent. And just as there is a right way to wash hands, so there is a way to wipe surfaces as well – use a clean cloth and wipe in one direction once, applying pressure to shift the germs, and then rinse the cloth in a separate bucket with disinfectant. One cloth; one surface; one direction. Think of all those things you touch frequently in your daily life for which you have responsibility & practice One Wipe, One Site, One Direction, including your mobile phone.”
“Join the #SafeSurfaceScience Challenge and post your challenge videos on social media! Together we can improved hygiene and help to beat COVID-19.”
Notes to Editors
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a world leader in research and postgraduate education in public and global health. Its mission is to improve health and health equity worldwide.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has launched a new course providing information on COVID-19 which is available here: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/covid19-novel-coronavirus