HFFG launches project to enhance COVID-19 vaccine uptake

Hope for Future Generations
Hope for Future Generations

Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a Non-governmental Organisation, has launched a project dubbed, “Partnership for Accelerated COVID Testing (PACT 2.0) to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine uptake through community engagement.”

The goal of the project is to reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and maximize vaccine uptake towards the attainment of the National targets.

COVID-19 since its outbreak in 2019 has already claimed over six million lives globally and over 1000 deaths in Ghana.

The COVID-19 vaccine is a key intervention towards containing the pandemic, however fear, uncertainty, conspiracy theories and safety concerns remain important threats to the vaccine uptake in Ghana and other parts of the world.

Mrs Cecilia Senoo, the Executive Director of HFFG, launching the project, said the activity therefore formed part of efforts to promote vaccine uptake in the country.

She said the project would be implemented in the Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions for a period of three months, starting from May to July 2022, simultaneously.

Mrs Senoo explained that the project would empower vulnerable groups, including PLHIV with timely and accurate communication on Covid-19 vaccine acceptance for increased demand.

It also seeks to develop and implement an effective communication strategy to promote public education and awareness creation, she stated

There would also be mass media campaigns as well as management of misinformation and myths of uptake of among vulnerable populations especially PLHIV including pregnant women in communities. “PAC 2.0 will engage health and local authorities, social welfare, Queen mothers, and faith-based leaders to participate in social mobilization campaigns toward acceptance and vaccination.” Mrs Senoo said.

The project would be implemented at the community level under the supervision of District teams and Regional Technical Working Groups made up of HFFG, NAP+ Ghana, YHAG, and the GRCS.

Some field champions sharing their experiences encountered at the launch, called for more work to be done to increase the vaccine uptake especially among pregnant women as most of them still hold the perception that the vaccine would affect their babies negatively.

Mr Kisses Johnson, the Lead, Risk Communication and Emergency Response, Ghana Health Service (GHS), representing the Director General commended HFFG for the initiative adding that the GHS could not do it all alone.

He spoke on some of the strategies the GHS had put in place so far to fight the pandemic and urged the champions to continuously encourage the people know the benefits and safety of the vaccine.

Mr Johnson pledged the GHS continuous support and appreciated the partners for the approach to improve vaccine uptake.

The project is in partnership with the National Association of Persons Living with HIV (NAP+) Ghana, Young Health Advocates Ghana (YHAG), and the Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS), with technical support from the Ghana Health Service and funding from UNAIDS.

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