Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information has described the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as a cloud on the Country’s fledging economic gains and a setback to poverty eradication efforts.
“In addition to its heavy toll on health, the pandemic has clouded Ghana’s emerging economic outlook and can further set back the fight against poverty,” he emphasized.
This was contained in a speech read on his behalf by Mrs Mamle Andrews, Chief Director at the Ministry of Information at an engagement with the Central Regional House of Chiefs in Cape Coast on Friday
The meeting was to officially update the 34 paramouncies of the Region of Ghana’s pandemic situation and its efforts in confronting the pandemic through the Community Engagement and Risk Education (CERE).
It was aimed at rallying their unalloyed support and commitment towards the Government’s renewed efforts to rollback community infections of the novel pandemic.
“The Community Engagement and Risk Education (CERE) drive our revered traditional leaders in whom their communities hold in high esteem and listen to, to lead the process of these engagements to deepen awareness on Covid-19 and sustain the safety protocols gains,” he said.
The CERE sought to prevent, protect and respond to the threats posed by Covid-19 while strengthening national systems for public health preparedness to limit importation, of cases, contain community spread, care for infected persons, limit impact on the socio-economic life of Ghanaians and deepen self-reliance and production capacity.
Appealing, Mr Nkrumah said the role of traditional leaders was key in containing community spread and strict adherence to the Covad-19 protocols.
He acknowledged that the Government appreciated the immeasurable partnership and roles of traditional authorities in the national development agenda and particularly the support in the enforcement of the restrictions that were imposed on during the lockdown and beyond.
“We recognized for instance that the imposition of the restriction on mass gatherings such as funerals and festivals were largely successful because of the understanding and active support of our Chiefs and Queens” and noted that the stringent measures may have inconvenienced many but they were necessary in the interest of public health.
Mr Nkrumah said the actual prevalence of Covid-19 infection remained unknown in most countries, posing great challenges to the global containment and mitigation, hence reinforced the need to strengthen response adequately o minimize the risk and impact posed by the pandemic.
To further ameliorate the plight of the Ghanaian, he assured that the government will continue to work at sustaining gains made in combating the pandemic with best practices and innovative ideas.
He mentioned the nationwide fumigation exercise, free testing, and treatment, free utilities, packages for health workers, free-feeding for communities that were under lockdown, free-feeding for students, and 1billion Cedi business support among others.
Dr Da-Costa Aboagye, Director, Health Promotion Division, and leader of the National Risk Communication and Social Mobilisation Response Team called for an end to stigmatisation and urged strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.
In his remarks, Obrempong Nyanful Krampah XI, President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs and Paramount Chief of Gomoa AjumakoTraditional Area, reiterated their commitment to the CERE drive and also called on all to support it.