A total of 10,869 residents of Tema have benefitted from phase two of COVID-19 sensitization progamme organized by the Tema Metropolitan office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
This was contained in a special report on the exercise which indicated that the exercise which was undertaken in July, saw 5,168 male and 5,701 female participants benefitting from the programme which targeted mostly electorates at the various registration centers.
Other identifiable groups including commercial drivers, fishmongers and fishermen at the Tema fishing harbour, also benefitted as the NCCE adopted methods such as street announcement, radio and community discussions to carry out the exercise.
The report revealed that the goal of the campaign was to reduce stigmatization and the rate of the COVID-19 infections in the Metropolis.
Mr Isaac Kwame Antwi, Tema Metropolitan Director of NCCE, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency,, said “the office targeted identified hotspots within the metropolis based on information from the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate and the Tema Metropolitan Assembly’s (TMA)) Anti COVID 19 committee.”
Mr Antwi further said the civic educators reminded the public that the coronavirus was real and could affect all manner of persons adding that the only way to avoid contracting the virus was to observe the various approved protocols.
He said through the exercise, his outfit had increased the knowledge of residents on the pandemic, compliance to the protocols and the need to do away with the stigmatization of persons who have contracted the disease and recovered.
Some of the challenges the NCCE faced in discharging their responsibility included disruption or postponement of the programme due to rains and relying on hired vehicles to carry out street and dawn broadcast.
Another challenge was the lack of access to people at religious gatherings as some churches and mosques still remained closed during the period.
It was also observed by officials that some persons carried their face masks in their pockets and bags as well as having it below their noses and mouths and only wore them when they were entering security zones adding that some persons still doubted the existence of the virus.
Mr Antwi said his outfit had recommended that security personnel including metro guards should be deplored randomly to enforce the wearing of the face masks, adding that public officials must also be seen wearing face masks in public.
Mr Antwi was hopeful that increased interaction with residents and intense sensitization would result in adherence to the COVID-19 protocols as well as reduce stigmatization of persons who had recovered.