Mr Benjamin Kwame Opare, Chief Executive Officer of Benemef Foundation, on Thursday called on government to engage the services of Environmental Health Officers to effectively educate the public on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Opare speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Tema said Environmental Health Officers were better placed to give the needed education as they possessed the requisite professional skills and were available in every district across the country.
He noted that they could be tasked to do day and night monitoring and sensitization, adding that, “Environmental Health Officers are the best people to be use in contact tracing because they are in the communities with the people”.
According to him, they could also be tasked to visit churches and other religious groupings to enforce the observance of the COVID-19 protocols and educate the populace on the need to avail themselves for the vaccine.
Mr Opare who is also an Environmental Officer observed that if education on the pandemic was not intensified and effectively carried out, the rural areas would soon become the epic centres as residents in those areas go about their normal duties with no regards to the COVID-19 protocols.
According to him, public transport was gradually becoming a breeding ground for the spread of the virus saying, “most people refused to wear the nose masks, most don’t wash their hands, and one thing I observed in public transport was that there was a particular seat that everyone going into and coming down touches, the first seat”.
Additionally, he noted that some activities of food vendors, bus conductors (mates) and others unknowingly contributed to spread of the virus.
He said “another abnormal behavour is how driver’s mates handle money, some even put it into their month which can spread the virus. Street Food Vendors especially Fufu Sellers, use the right hand to collect the money and use the same hand to dish out the Fufu for the customers”.
He also called for education on the proper wearing of nose masks as he noted that most people were placing the masks at their chin, which still put them at risk of contracting the virus.
“Many are not wearing, they wear it when they are getting near the police and many also think that when they talk in it, people may not hear them. We need to do more advert and educate people that even with the masks when you talk we will hear you”.