The dialogue on cleanliness and sanitation created two schools of thought. The first school of thought is of the opinion that there is no difference between cleanliness and sanitation and the second school of thought has a contrary opinion.
One of the peace messengers went further to draw a quote from the holy book stating that cleanliness is next to Godliness and another went further to expatiate that a sanitary environment does not necessarily mean a clean environment. On this occasion, the dialogue among peace messengers went longer than usual and finally we were able to redirect the dialogue back to the need for a clean and sanitize environment in order to prevent and control Ebola Virus Disease.
Most of the tropical diseases afflicting our African continent correlate to lack of a clean environment and poor sanitation. It has been recognized by Public Health experts that inaction to clean environment, water and sanitation in the face of grave public health risks as presented by EVD puts us in harm’s way.
Statistics from a World Health Organization and UNICEF report indicate that as of today, only sixty-eight percent of the world’s population has access to an improved sanitation facility and one in three people still live without sanitation facilities. Anecdotal report on the situation in Liberia is less impressive.
One of the lessons learnt at the on surge of the Ebola Epidemic that needs to be retained during the resurgence of the EVD to Liberia is the need for a clean and healthy environment. The EVD reminds every Liberian of the need for basic hand washing techniques, hygiene and access to potable water and safe sanitation facilities.
Other lessons learnt during the first outbreak of Ebola shows that widespread of the virus could have been halted by proper sanitation. Providing basic but adequate water facilities to public institutions including schools and the Ebola Treatment Units is one of the most essential services during the time of the Ebola epidemic.
At MOP, it is our opinion that we can overcome political inertia to the provision of adequate water and sanitation if the necessary infrastructure can be put in place to protect most vulnerable population from prevailing pestilence.
As young peace messengers discussing cleanliness and sanitation, we want to see ambitious, concrete and measurable commitments to achieving goal six of the sustainable development goal (SDG). According to Dr. Maria Neira, the WHO’s Director of the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, “As long as many people still do not have access to enough sanitation facilities, the quality of water will continue to be threatened.”
We dialogued and agreed that cleanliness and excellent sanitation to benefit human health is critical to accelerate efforts that would eradicate EVD from Liberia and the sub-region.
Also vital is the introduction of health education tools to schools, communities and along the border regions of Liberia. We need to educate our children through the stories and information we provide them with on peace building initiatives and how we overcame EVD.
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Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates- Dealing with a known Enemy.” Peace first and above all else, may peace prevail on earth.


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