Ashanti Health Directorate meets stakeholders on COVID-19 vaccination

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A health worker administers a dose of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for a man in Kampala, capital of Uganda, Sept. 23, 2021. Uganda Breweries has joined other local partners to fast track the country's COVID-19 vaccination in efforts to open up the country's economy. The company together with Century Bottling, a soda company, Private Sector Foundation Uganda and Kampala Capital City Authority on Wednesday launched the vaccination campaign dubbed "COVID-19: The fight is on! Get Vaccinated!" (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)
(Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)

The Ashanti Regional Health Directorate has stepped up stakeholder engagements to encourage the public to accept and participate in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise as the festive season approaches.

The Directorate has been engaging traditional and religious leaders as a strategy to reach out to the larger population due to their influence in society.

It has consequently met the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs to solicit the support of the House on the ongoing National COVID-19 Vaccination exercise which is set to end on December 18.

Religious leaders drawn from both the Christian and Muslim communities have also been engaged on the importance of the vaccination exercise in the fight against the disease.

The stakeholder engagements which is being supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners, forms part of the social mobilisation drive to address vaccine hesitancy.

The goal is to achieve herd immunity and also protect as many people as possible ahead of the yuletide to prevent another wave after the festivities.
Dr Emmanuel Tinkorang, Regional Director of Health Services,
at a meeting with religious leaders in Kumasi, reminded the participants that the fight against COVID-19 was not over.

He said the engagement was necessary because the transmission of the disease thrived on human-to-human activities which was most likely to increase during the Christmas and New Year period.

The trend of the disease, he said, shows that the country recorded a new wave every six months and called for a concerted effort to eliminate the disease completely.

The Regional Director said the target of the Directorate was to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating at least 70 per cent of the population in the Region, disclosing that only 48 per cent had been fully vaccinated.

He said 68 per cent had taken the first dose and urged such people to voluntarily go for the second dose in the interest of public health.

Dr Tinkorang also advised organisers of public events during the festive season to insist on safety protocols as a civic responsibility towards the protection of lives.

Madam Charity Nikoi, Social Behaviour Change Communication Specialist, UNICEF, underlined the need for the participants to lead the campaign as leaders for the collective good of society.

She said vaccination was the surest way for protection against COVID-19 and urged the religious leaders to be ambassadors against vaccine hesitancy.

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