ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
“Hygiene First, my new habits” is a campaign that seeks to enlighten people about the long-term positive impact of hygienic habits and encourage citizen responsibility in practising such habits. The campaign is an initiative of the Extended Hands Foundation founded by the award-winning actress and producer, Stephanie Linus. It is geared towards creating awareness on personal hygiene and prompting a steady behavioural change in the way we care for our environment. We believe that small changes make big impact on our way of life.
By practising those changes and making them our habits, we improve the quality of our lives tremendously. The goal is to awaken people’s consciousness about hygienic practices we need to imbibe in our homes and communities and get them involved in championing these causes. From regular hand-washing to proper waste disposal, deep cleaning of homes and public spaces, and more, this campaign is geared towards encouraging simple, easy, at-home tips and ideas that families can integrate into their everyday lives.
COVID-19 & THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE CAMPAIGN
Habits are very important. Habits shape our lives far more than we probably realize. When a good habit is formed and maintained, it has the ability to improve the quality of life in tremendous ways. From eating a healthy diet to getting regular exercise, people have found ways to enjoy their lives better by making important lifestyle changes and sticking to them.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. The respiratory disease which was first reported in Wuhan, China brought the world to its knees infecting over 3.7million people and resulting in over 260,000 deaths (as of May 7, 2020).
As people scrambled to find ways to protect themselves and their loved ones from contracting this disease, many were surprised to find that the practice of a simple, but conscious healthy habit could be the difference between life and death. Across the world, prevention strategies are being publicized through different media platforms, government agencies, health organizations, religious organizations, private and public institutions. The rhetoric might take on different forms, but it bears a few common recommendations: regular washing of hands and disinfecting surfaces in the home.
Manufacturers of hand soaps and alcohol-based sanitizers have never had it so good as demand and sales have multiplied in tremendous numbers. From little kids to the elderly, people are washing hands multiple times daily in addition to adhering to other protective measures. As medical professionals, researchers and scientists grapple with clinical trials and testing treatments or vaccines for the virus, and as the virus transmits rapidly from person to person, it becomes even more imperative to ensure the continuity of such hygienic habits.
The overall goal of this campaign is to drive the conscious awakening of good hygiene habits among people and communities in Nigeria. We want to inspire Nigerians to take responsibility for their personal and community hygiene and remind them of its importance in preventing person-to-person transmittable diseases. We also want to develop a system that encourages young people to volunteer as community watchers in facilitating good hygiene habits among people in their communities.
Our expected outcomes are highlighted thus:
1. Conscious awakening of good hygiene habits among people and communities in Nigeria.
2. Raise a team of volunteers and ambassadors across the country who will challenge citizens within their spheres of influence, causing them to proactively practice and adapt to hygienic habits.
3. Create a viral social media campaign using videos, images and text with the hashtag #HygieneFirst that will resonate among young people in Nigeria.
4. Inspire accountability among our citizens on the proper care for public spaces. We want to educate people on how to keep public spaces clean and simple hygiene practices they can imbibe, thereby encouraging a sense of pride towards these shared spaces.
5. Inspire a community of people who are taking responsibility for their own space with peer to peer awareness creation mechanism in Nigerian communities.
6. Encourage strong citizen participation and response to the fight against Coronavirus.
7. Inspire the culture of recycling.