Coronavirus - UNICEF campaign on wearing masks as COVID-19 cases soar across the Middle East and North Africa

Scientific evidence suggests that face cover including medical and fabric masks can help control the spread of COVID-19

With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa, wearing masks has become more critical than ever.

To date, over 1.2 million cases were confirmed across the region with nearly 35,000 deaths.

Wearing masks can become tiring, inconvenient and at times tedious. There is no question, however, that it is essential to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Scientific evidence suggests that face cover including medical and fabric masks can help control the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Anirban Chatterjee, Regional Health Advisor at UNICEF MENA “Face masks are an effective measure to protect the person using them and their community” he added.

To encourage people around the region to wear masks, UNICEF has just launched a campaign featuring children and influencers to engage the public to wear masks and highlight how to properly use them and dispose of them safely.

“We are immensely grateful to the influencers* who joined us from around the region and gave their voice to encourage people to wear masks and at the same time make it creative and fun!” said Juliette Touma, Regional Chief of Communications, and the campaign manager “This is a rolling and interactive campaign that will continue for the coming months. UNICEF invites more influencers, celebrities and individuals to send out messages on wearing masks: a critical item in our day to day life”.

This campaign is part of UNICEF’s efforts to reach millions of people with awareness material and information. So far, UNICEF has reached nearly 200 million people – close to 40 per cent of the region's population - with material and information on COVID-19.

“Wearing masks is one of several precautionary health measures that we strongly encourage people to undertake. Wearing masks becomes effective when combined with frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers, physical distancing, and environmental cleaning and disinfection,” concluded Dr. Chatterjee.

Help us spread the word by sharing your photo or a short video while wearing a mask to UNICEF’s MENA social media platforms.

So, #MaskUp and #Be Safe!