Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has charged religious leaders and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to take active part in the fight against the coronavirus.
“In Ghana, people listen more to what the church, mosque and civil society say so I believe you have a bigger mandate in changing behaviour than even the government,” he told a stakeholders’ meeting on COVID-19 in Kumasi.
The meeting formed part of the region’s risk communication strategies to sensitize the public on the dangers of the coronavirus and the need to observe the safety protocols.
It was attended by representatives from the Christian Council, civil society, police, Information Service Department, National Commission for Civic Education, Regional Coordinating Council and the media.
The Director General said all the countries that had been able to bring the pandemic under control did so because of the willingness of the people to observe the protocols.
He said the role of religious leaders and persons in leadership positions was very crucial to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic as cases continued to rise.
All efforts by government to contain the virus, according to him, would yield no positive results if people continued to disregard the safety measures and warned that there might not be enough space to contain new cases if the recklessness continued.
Dr. Yaw Ofori Yeboah, the Deputy Regional Director in charge of Public Health, said in the face of the increasing number of confirmed cases in the region, risk communication was critical to the fight against the pandemic.
“The fight against the virus is not only about health but also affects the socioeconomic development of the country and we need everybody on board to contain it,” he stated.
He said the battle against the deadly disease did not only depend on health workers but all stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the case count of COVID-19 in the Ashanti Region stands at 5,150 with 4,138 recoveries, leaving 954 active cases.