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Ghanaians disregarding nose masks, social distancing – NGOs in Health findings

Mon, 18 May 2020 Source: myxyzonline.com

The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) has found a worrying trend in the country which is a hinderance to breaking the chain of the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

In a research conducted by the firm, which focuses on health issues in Ghana, despite the surge in the spread of the virus also known as COVID-19, there is a “huge misconception around the use of the face mask” adding “This is dangerous for Ghana, since “proper and consistent use of the nose/face mask has great impact of breaking the chain of the spread of the virus.”

The GCNH said the data from their research, which commenced in the national capital, Accra and ended in Nandom in the northern part of the country, indicated that social distancing and the use of face or nose masks were not in full force in the country.

“We randomly collected data and made observations as well; Ghana is potentially risking again, as the 2 strategies, out of the 6, are stagnated (ie social distancing, and consistent and proper use of the nose/mouth mask protocols),” said Dr Gabriel Bernakuu, Chairman of the Coalition, adding “Ghana is potentially risking again.”

Tasking the National Taskforce and Covid-19 Team to ensure that agencies and institutions have the adequate resources to help contain the virus, Dr Bernakuu said the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies ought to be strengthened to carry out the Government’s agenda to contain the virus.

The Coalition, in it’s observation, pleaded with the Government to extend the ban on public gatherings.

"Intelligence gathered from our networks suggest some religious groups are trying to put pressure on Government, we do not support this at all. Even the science is failing almost every Government globally, so let us be rather innovative in our approaches with the support from the religious and traditional authorities.



"Ministry of Health need to support Ghana Public Health and Socio-Psychological systems to function properly with logistics,” Dr Bernakuu added.

Below is the Coalition’s Observations and Suggestions to the Government.

1.0 SURVEY RESULTS:

The following are information that could help strengthen further Ghana’s strategies in combating the spread of covid-19 (A & B):

OBSERVATIONS:

1. There is a huge misconception around the use of the face mask. This is dangerous for Ghana, since “proper and consistent use of the nose/face mask has great impact of breaking the chain of the spread of the virus.”

2. There is a great support for local vaccine production and experimentation.

Research and development funding required.

3. Sociological and Psychological interventions remain low. This requires concerted efforts.

4. Community-based infection is beginning to show a threat than we imagined. Metro/Municipal/District Assemblies’ (MMDAs) role is very crucial than before.

5. Areas the traditional and religious bodies are active in education, support and advocacy, impacts and fruits of success are seen. We need to support such initiatives.

6. There are still response and containment centres earmarked but not supported with logistics. So, “it is like going and standing” …. (local translation).

7. Focus group discussions (FGD), suggested the MMDAs complained of inadequate resources to support the fight at local level. This is crucial.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. National taskforce for monitoring COVID-19 intervention “Due to lack of national monitoring plans” Minister for Monitoring & Evaluation could be of assistance to this intervention.

2. Intelligence gathered from our networks suggest some religious groups are trying to put pressure on Government, we do not support this at all. Even the science is failing almost every Government globally, so let us be rather innovative in our approaches with the support from the religious and traditional authorities.

3. Ministry of Health need to support Ghana Public Health and Socio-Psychological systems to function properly with logistics.

4. Adaptation strategies should be properly roll out to affected families, communities and regions.

5. The MMDAs more funding for the job. We take this opportunity to appeal to the managers of the COVID 19 Trust Fund, to support the activities on the ground.

Source: myxyzonline.com
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