The government has asked Chiefs to lead the Community Engagement and Risk Education strategy to deepen awareness on COVID-19 and sustain the observance of the protocols.
Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, the Deputy Minister for Information, who made the call, said government appreciated the role of traditional authorities in the national development agenda hence the need to let them lead the Community Engagement and Risk Education strategy.
The Minister was speaking during a sensitization workshop on COVID-19 and Peaceful Election 2020 for the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs in Wa.
The workshop was to update the traditional authorities on the COVID-19 pandemic and also report on Ghana’s effort at managing the disease.
He said the government’s quest was to “leave no one behind” in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Hadzide noted that as of Friday, October 2, 2020, confirmed cases in the country as indicated on the Ghana Health Service COVID-19 Tracker was 46,694 with 45,945 full recoveries and 301 deaths and 448 active cases.
“The statistics, especially with the rate of recovery look very encouraging. The initial fear that gripped the country when the first case was reported seems to have been replaced with a growing sense of hope that the country is ahead of the rate of spread of the virus,” he said.
“Sadly, it appears people are gradually relaxing the observance of the safety protocols. The number of citizens who wear the nose masks is reducing by day, social distancing is not being strictly adhered to, and frequency of hand washing has also decreased significantly,” the Deputy Minister for Information said.
Mr Hadzide noted that the country could not afford a reverse of the remarkable gains chalked, hence the need to continue to strengthen the response to the COVID-19 pandemic to minimize the risk and impact of the disease.
Dr DaCosta Aboagye, Leader of the Risk Communication and Community Engagement for COVID-19 National Taskforce, noted that the aim was for communities to own and adhere to the safety protocols which formed part of the strategy to limit the importations and community spread.
Dr Aboagye, who is also the Director, Health Promotion Division of the Ghana Health Service, said the Service was worried of the poor adherence to the safety protocols by some Ghanaians.
He said the sensitization and education was to avert the possibility of the country suffering a second wave of the pandemic.
Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton VI, President of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, commended President Akufo Addo on his commitment to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the citizenry.
He noted that through the President’s relentless effort, the country had recorded some of the lowest cases and deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Kuoro Kanton applauded Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State and President of the National House of Chiefs for single-handedly donating an amount of GH?50,000.00 towards the fight against both COVID-19 and the Cerebral Spinal Meningitis in the region.
The President of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs pledged the commitment of the chiefs to carry on with the education in their various communities to ensure compliance with the protocols and reduce both the risk and the impact.