Africa CDC launches week-long mask-wearing campaign across c
Time: 13:55: Nov-26, 20     Author :  
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Angeline Toungsi, a Cameroonian tailor, sews cloth face masks at her workshop in Yaounde, Cameroon on April 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Jean Pierre Kepseu)

Angeline Toungsi, a Cameroonian tailor, sews cloth face masks at her workshop in Yaounde, Cameroon on April 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Jean Pierre Kepseu)


The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on Monday launched a campaign dubbed #AfricaMaskWeek aimed at sustaining and increasing mask-wearing as a protective measure among populations in Africa.

According to the continental disease control and prevention agency, the total number of reported COVID-19 cases on the continent has reached 2,057,001 as of Sunday afternoon.

At a time when COVID-19 cases are increasing in a second wave in many parts of the world and people are fatigued with the public health and social measures, #AfricaMaskWeek has been launched across the continent, from 23 to 30 Nov. 2020, said an AU statement on Monday.

Led by the Pandemic Action Network, in partnership with Africa CDC, the AU Office of the Youth Envoy, the African Youth Front on Coronavirus, Resolve to Save Lives, and many other organizations, the week-long social media campaign will encourage mask-wearing across the African continent.

"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 from others", said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.

"As we intensify testing and contact tracing to identify and treat infected persons across the continent, you can avoid being infected by simply wearing a mask to prevent respiratory droplets from reaching your nose and mouth," he said.

The campaign launched virtually features discussions about mask-wearing and its benefits in controlling the spread of COVID-19. There will also be social media campaigns and online events through the week by corporate and private entities and individuals across the continent to promote mask-wearing.

Recent data suggest that mask-wearing in Africa is declining while COVID-19 continues to spread.

More than 40 African countries have enacted policies on mandatory use of masks in public, but there are challenges with compliance to those policies, according to the statement.

Stating that there are documented rumors, misinformation, disinformation, and stigmatization about mask-wearing, it has said the #AfricaMaskWeek is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of consistent and correct mask-wearing, address misperceptions and mobilize compliance.

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