Dr. Osei Kuffour-Afreh, the Oti Regional Director of Health Services, has called on media practitioners and community influencers to help remove the conspiracy theories, myths and misconceptions against the COVID-19 vaccines.
He said such misconceptions and theories should be treated with contempt since there was no scientific proof.
He said the vaccines were safe, simple and effective tools to prevent the disease.
He explained the vaccination would help minimize the risk of complications of infected persons, so everyone should get involved.
Dr. Kuffour-Afreh said this at a two-day training workshop on Interpersonal Communication and Vaccines Hesitancy at Worawora in the Oti Region for some selected media practitioners, community influencers and District Health Promoters drawn from eight districts of the Region.
The Regional Directorate the Ghana Health Service is organising the programme with support from UNICEF to equip the participants with accurate information on the vaccines for them to sensitise the public within the right context and to avoid misleading them.
The Regional Director said Public Health Interventions (PHIs) have resulted in the decline in mobility and mortality related to various diseases worldwide, saving millions of lives each year globally, but unfortunately people have expressed hesitancy towards accepting these interventions.
Dr. Kuffour-Afreh said these might be due to inadequate social mobilization or community entry and communication and thus, asked the participants to feed their communities with the appropriate and right information on the vaccines to dispel any hesitancy.
Mr. Eric Quaye- Appiah, Regional Disease Control Officer urged the participants to communicate with the public with the right information since in almost every community, there might be individuals who have lower levels of trust in PHIs or doubt it or be indecisive about it.
Mr. Quaye-Appiah said people’s hesitance might come from complacency, confidence and convenience, so they must investigate the reasons for hesitancy and communicate appropriately.
He appealed to them to use the five Cs that is, Complacency, Confidence, Convenience, Context and Communication to tackle hesitancy.
The Regional Disease Control Officer said hesitancy was context specific and changing in time and place which necessitated content specific approaches to tackle.