The Ministry of Information, the Ghana Health Service, and Partners have provided one-day training for Western Regional House of Chiefs.
This workshop was under the auspices of his Royal Majesty Nana Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II, the President of Western Regional House of Chiefs who is also the Paramount Chief of Sefwi Wiaso traditional area.
In his opening remarks, Nana Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II applauded the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service for an uphill work executed during this Covid-19 pandemic.
The Deputy Minister for information, Mr. Pius Enam Hadzide who led the Ministry of Information’s delegation appealed to the Western Regional House of Chiefs and the community leaders to complement the government's effort geared towards awareness creation on the safety protocols of COVID-19 as the country is not out of the woods yet.
Dr. Da Costa Aboagye, Director Health Promotion Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Leader of National Risk Communication and Social Mobilization Committee for Ghana's COVID-19 Response Team, trained participants on COVID-19 preventive protocols and its associated stigma, and Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs).
The Leader of Risk Communication for COVID -19 Response Team emphasised that people with conditions such as hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and cancers which have been identified among the top 4 causes of mortality especially among the aged in Ghana tend to have a substantially higher risk of becoming severely ill or dying from the virus.
In an exclusive interview with Peacefmonline.com, Dr. Da Costa Aboagye intimated that “COVID-19 is causing a significant disruption of services in the prevention and treatment of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in almost all countries”.
“In an effort to mitigate this, the government has promised to initiate ‘wellness clinics’ as one of the key methods for early detection of NCDs with the aim of institutionalising ‘prevention is better than cure’ approach to support curative healthcare delivery”, he disclosed.
Concerning stigma, Dr. Da Costa Aboagye gave out some tips on how to address and avoid compounding social stigma.
He said that “firstly COVID-19 education is critical in supporting people to take effective action in combating the disease and to avoid fuelling fear and stigma. Secondly, an environment that supports an open discussion of the disease and its impact needs to be created.”
Dr. Da costa further urged the chiefs and opinion leaders to provide leadership towards the fight against stigma and empower survivors of COVID- 19 and assist individuals who have been abandoned because they contracted the virus.
He likewise made mention of house owners who eject their tenants because they got infected with COVID-19 to desist from this act and reiterated the President's clarion call that, ‘our enemy is the virus and not ourselves’, urging Ghanaians to show love and support each other to help defeat this pandemic.
The leader of Risk Communication for COVID -19 Dr. Da costa Aboagye again encouraged Ghanaians to regularly exercise and eat our local foods as well as fruits and vegetables to boost their immune system against any disease.