Conference of ‘Major Superiors of Religious’ in Ghana Launches COVID-19 Response Project

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COVID-19
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The Conference of major Superiors of Religious in Ghana has launched a project aimed at reducing the impact of the Coronavirus in Ghana.

The project, out-doored at a ceremony held at ‘Adom Fie’ in the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi on the theme, “Religious in Ghana Strengthening Covid-19 Response”, is aimed at reducing the impact of the Coronavirus on individuals and families in Ghana.

The initiative, sponsored by the Conrad Hilton Foundation follows earlier initiatives and the fear the public expressed around safety, side effects and usefulness of vaccines based on misinformation, lack of trust or the scientific establishment or sheer ignorance.

For a period of eight months, the Conference, as part of its pastoral concern and responsibilities will ensure that vaccines reach and were accepted by everyone, especially those on the margins of society who do not have the right to information and that there was an equitable and effective COVID-19 distribution within the country.

The project will ensure the comprehensive Vaccination Education and advocacy in partnership with private and governmental organizations and advocate equitable vaccine distribution within the country.

It will also facilitate key stakeholders’ engagement to address emerging issues impeding vaccine confidence, access, and uptake consistent, and factual communication strategies and campaigns using the Vatican toolkit to combat misinformation and disinformation related to COVID-19 to ensure accurate information was distributed about lifesaving vaccines.

It will ensure distribution of PPE to select Health Centres in vulnerable community’s psychosocial support and training for selected health workers.

Speaking at the launch, the President of the Conference, Sr. Mercy Boateng noted that the pandemic ignited the spirit of creativity in religious men and women who had to look for ways to help prevent its spread and more destruction.

“Discerning the subtle gem of God’s message behind this global phenomenon, we as religious men and women were forced to pause, rethink, and be more creative in expressing our charisms today in the face of the pandemic,” she added.

She said: “Last year women religious in Ghana who hold a unique position in communities they serve as trusted, beloved, human-centred and critical providers- collaborated with the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious with financial support from Conrad Hilton Foundation to make various COVID-19 Response Interventions.”

She said many consecrated persons went out to distribute food packs to street dwellers, especially during the lockdown, gave stipend support to groups who lost income due to Covid-19, trained healthcare workers in the use of PPE and handling of COVID-19 patients in selected health sectors, undertook COVID-119 prevention education through the distribution of flyers and radio programme and distributed PPE in selected health centres, among other initiatives.

Dr. Peter K. Yeboah, the Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana, (CHAG) noted that religious men and women in Ghana played significant frontline roles at case management centres across the country.

“Indeed, of the 40 CHAG Health Facilities re-purposed for COVID-19 response actions, the Catholic Church-owned or operated, and continue to manage over 50 per cent of all COVID-19 cases recorded, amidst the continuity of essential routine healthcare services. And most of these designated facilities serving as frontline Case Management Centres were, handled by Religious Sisters and Brothers,” he said.

The event was attended by the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Most Rev. Henrynk. M. Jagodzinski, the Archbishop of the Kumasi Archdiocese, Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Anokye, Director of Health at the National Catholic Secretariat and the National Catholic Health Service, Lawyer George Adjei, Director of Public Health-Ghana Health Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, The Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) Dr. Peter K. Yeboah who gave Keynote Address as well as the Representative of Ashanti Regional Director of Health.

The Conference of Major Superiors of Religious, Ghana made up of both men and women leaders of the Catholic Religious Congregations in Ghana was established on August 23, 2013 when Rome recognised the group as a body in the Church in Ghana.

The Conference composed of about 70 members of both religious men and women is aimed at promoting deeper collaboration between the leaders of the congregations in Ghana.

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