Ghana Psychological Association (GPA) has lauded the media for their role in informing the people on the COVID-19 outbreak; as part of efforts to contain the disease and potentially save lives.

Dr Collins Badu Agyemang, Vice President, GPA, said the Association through the media had informed Ghanaians on measures they need to take to avoid the spread of the disease; such as social distancing, hand washing with soap and the use of alcohol based hand sanitizers.

Speaking on Friday at a Media briefing in Accra, which was organised by the Ministry of Information, to give an update on the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, Dr Agyemang said: “In times of our deployment strategy, we also use the media and I must commend the media houses; both those in the local language media houses, English and others.”

“We use the language of the heart to speak in Twi, Ga and other languages in addition to English to be able to help people appreciate and why we need not fear a psychological virus of panic, anxiety and others”.

He reiterated that almost every facet of society was affected by the spread of COVID-19; adding that “and this novel coronavirus by its nature, spreading patterns and the manner of behaviour that continues to dribble the scientific world introduces a more psychological virus, fear, panic, anxiety, helplessness, some science of depression and I think all of us may have found ourselves in these descriptions that I have given”.

“Think about these words related to COVID-19; you hear of virus, either in the health sector or in the IT world virus means you are likely to lose something.

Think of isolation. To be isolated is not something pleasant; is not comforting. Think of quarantine; it is not something comforting,” he stated.

He said the current situation, where many countries, including; Ghana were being lockeddown because of the disease showed its seriousness.

“To lock and down is not positive and that is why the inclusion of psychologists, the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders became relevant and even ultimately the Ministry of Information became relevant,” he said.

Dr Agyemang appealed to Ghanaians to avoid reading everything that had to do with COVID-19 which might lead to fear and panic.

He said rather than focusing on the negatives of COVID-19, Ghanaians should take advantage of the positive side of the pandemic to build on skills and individual strengths.

He said GPA was playing a critical role to provide counseling services for people affected by COVID-19.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.


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