Dr Kingsley Kwadwo Asare Pereko, Vice President of the Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS), has said inadequate resources were militating against its quest to achieve its mandate including responding to emergencies.
He has, therefore, appealed to corporate and benevolent organisations to channel some of their resources to the Society to enable it discharge promptly its duties effectively.
He said the GRCS has done a lot in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to other emergencies and could perform better if more funding was available.
Dr Pereko said this at the launch of MasterCard Foundation Support for COVID-19 in Ho. He said, “the Red Cross is alive and working,” thus the call for support to enable it execute its core mandate promptly and timely.
He commended the MasterCard Foundation for the support as it would enable the Society to supply communities, schools, markets and institutions with the necessary COVID-19 preventive materials to limit its spread.
Mr Kofi Addo, Secretary-General, GRCS, said the Society quickly activated its responsive and preventive mechanisms when the country recorded the first case of COVID-19 in line with its mandate to respond to emergency situations that threatened the country's safety.
He said the GRCS was part of the National, Regional and District platforms that were created to map out COVID-19 Response strategy and implementation to stem the spread of the pandemic and was working unremittingly to ensure that the pandemic was contained in the country.
Mr Addo said the Society was currently operating under five National Response Strategic Pillars - Social Mobilisation and Risk Communication Strategy, Hardware Support, Sustainable Wash, Livelihood Support and Organisation Development and Capacity Building for its officials.
He said the strategies were being rolled out and implemented in all the 16 Administrative regions, aimed at having a resilient and healthy community against the ferocious and devastating effect of the novel coronavirus.
Mr Addo said to be able to ensure that the desired objective of the strategic pillars were achieved, GRCS launched a one Million dollar appeal, however, based on responses and support, the amount was raised to two million dollars, which MasterCard a Canada based organization had provided 645,0000 US dollars.
He said the MasterCard support would be carried out in four regions - Volta, Ashanti, Western, and Central “so we can make the maximum impact,” in winning the fight against the pandemic.
Mr Addo said the GRCS put in place “Community Engagement and Accountability System to understand the beliefs, fears, rumours, questions and suggestions circulating in the communities about the novel coronavirus and use them to provide clear answers and inform the response.”
He said the GRCS was providing effective training to its staff and volunteers to equip them with the requisite knowledge and skills so they could carry out their legitimate duties professionally and have “organisational and communities resilience to Public Health Emergencies.”
Dr Senanu Kwasi Dzokoto, Deputy Regional Director of Health in charge of Public Health, who presided, commended MasterCard Foundation for the support and urged other organisations to follow suit.
He said COVID-19 pandemic was a crisis that threatened to stall the country's socio-economic development, therefore a collective effort was required to tackle it.
Dr Dzokoto lauded GRCS for their livelihood empowerment project, which aimed at improving the living standards of people as the pandemic had negatively affected the livelihoods of many people.
The GRCS used the opportunity to present some COVID-19 preventive items such as nose masks and hand sanitizers to traders at Ho-Ahoe market.
Mr Gershon Koffi Dzokoto, Volta Regional Manager of the Society, urged the traders to endeavour to observe the protocols of social distancing and wearing of masks to avoid the spread of disease.
Madam Ernestina Glalah Deh, the market Queen was grateful to the Society for the support, saying the items would help them overcome the pandemic.