The Liberian Women Humanitarian Network or LWHN has called for the closure of schools in the country in the midst of the rapid increase in the cases of coronavirus here.
The women group expressed deep concern about the newest outbreak and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Liberia and calls for the immediate closure of all schools. This, the group said will aid the government and health practitioners to focus on the chain of transmissions and safe lives.
To date, the Nation Public Health Institute of Liberia reports that Liberia has had a total of 3,900 confirmed cases while 1,458 are currently active confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Armed with these reports, the Liberian Women Humanitarian Network calls on the Liberian Government to consider the immediate closure of schools and or lockdown across counties that are consider hotspots in Liberia for 3 weeks in order to help break the chain of transmission of COVID-19.
According to NPHIL statistics at the time of this release, 13 of the 15 counties are currently responding to active COVID19 cases.
The Network recognizes and applauds the Government for the initial regulations put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and notes that to quickly curb the transmission of the virus, social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Given the interactive nature of society and the number of students per class generally in most schools, it is almost difficult to strictly adhere to the social distancing measure; hence it is prudent to allow the children to stay away from school for a minimum of three weeks until the situation is steady.
The LWHN acknowledges that why in-person school is preferred by the government for students to complete the academic year, it is best to continue in-person classes only when it is safe.
The women group also calls on all schools to put in place the following recommends safety measures be put in place and adhere to at all times: Encourage all teachers to get vaccinated as a priority; Carryout regular spot checks at various schools to ensure they are strict; observing the health protocols. Schools non-compliant be penalized immediately according to the Public Health Law of Liberia; Work with PTAs as partners in ensuring their various schools are fully compliant. Activate these community structures to help stop the spread, and institute a mandatory stagger schedule for schools with alternating timetables to reduce the number of students in the school during the day and school week.
The Network calls on the general public to continually and vehemently follow the health measures put in place by the Government of Liberia – wear a mask at all times in public, wash your hands frequently, stay away from the huge gathering, get tested, and vaccinated.
Established in 2016, the Liberia Women Humanitarian Network (LWHN) consists of heads of women-led local non-profit organizations (NGOs) and individuals that are impassioned about humanitarian work.
In the years since its formation, the network has intervened in humanitarian disasters not only locally in Liberia but also regionally in Sierra Leone where it supported victims of the mudslide disaster in Sierra Leone in 2017.-Press release