As part of activities to create awareness and sensitize the public on the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have extended their programmes to deprived communities in 160 districts and vulnerable targeting persons living with disability and HIV/AIDS in all the 16 regions.
The goal is to ensure that 500,000 women and 250,000 men Living with disabilities are equipped with relevant information on COVID-19, to empower them to make better decisions and change their behaviors to protect themselves and others.
The Director of Health Promotion and leader of the Risk Communication team of COVID-19 at the GHS, Dr. Aboagye Dacosta, emphasized the importance of reaching remote communities as well as vulnerable groups with credible information on the COVID-19.
“This initiative is very timely and essential in bridging the communications gaps on COVID-19. Our efforts to enhance access to credible information for the targeted vulnerable population in remote areas will promote the right behavioral change to fight and contain the virus,” he stated.
However, statistics show that the current risk communication on COVID-19 in Ghana has been concentrated in the three identified epicenters (Accra, Kumasi and Tema), which represent about 35 percent of the country’s population, leaving behind 65 percent of Ghanaians especially those living in rural areas. In addition, current effort to reach the country’s over 3 million persons with disability with information in accessible format is limited.
Acting Resident Representative of the UNDP Ghana, Gita Welch, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic compounds pre-existing marginalization, inequalities and vulnerabilities particularly for women and men Living with disabilities and HIV/AIDS.
“This is why the UN is keen on these kinds of partnerships to work closely with Governments to reach out to everyone with credible information and interventions, to ensure no one is left behind,” she indicated.
At least 10 districts with hard to reach areas and communities including prisons, immigration detention centres, under-served and border communities will be targeted, using various community engagement approaches and channels for the public education.
Source: Eric Nii Sackey || ghananewsonline.com.gh