In west Africa, soap bucket challenge to fight Ebola

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:27 pm IST

Published - August 27, 2014 11:42 pm IST - ABIDJAN (IVORY COAST):

A young man on camera names the person who’s challenged him to dump the contents of a bucket over his head. But in a twist on the ice bucket challenge, this man is soon drenched in frothy, soapy water part of a campaign to raise awareness about Ebola prevention in West Africa.

‘Lather against Ebola’ Ivory Coast’s “Lather Against Ebola” campaign, catchy songs and comedy are being used by West Africans to educate people on how to avoid getting the deadly disease, which has infected more than 2,600 people and killed more than 1,400 in four countries across the region, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

From Nigeria to Sierra Leone, songs and sketches have supplemented traditional media and government campaigns to educate the public about Ebola, which is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of infected people and can be partly contained by simple measures like regular hand-washing.

The “Lather Against Ebola” campaign was inspired by the ice bucket challenge that has generated tens of millions of dollars for the ALS Association, which raises money for Lou Gehrig’s disease research. Ivorian blogger Edith Brou knew the ice bucket campaign was getting lots of attention and wanted to make it more relevant in her home country.

Despite bordering Guinea and Liberia, two countries that have been hit hard by the Ebola outbreak, Ivory Coast has yet to record a single case, and Ms. Brou wants to keep it that way. “Our greatest threat right now is Ebola,” she said.

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