The Human Right Advocacy Center (HRAC) in collaboration with the Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Health Directorate has embarked on a crusade against COVID-19 stigmatization.
The crusade tagged as access to mental health services – key to improving mental wellbeing of persons affected with COVID-19, was to educate the public on the need to support people suffering from the virus.
Dr Esther Priscilla Biamah-Danquah, Kpone-Katamanso Municipal Health Director, stated that stigmatizing against people affected with COVID-19 was unacceptable.
She said this at community durbar attended by targeted groups including, religious leaders, departmental heads, market women, opinion leaders amongst others, converged at the Kpone Mount Senai Methodist church for the event.
She lamented that affected persons go through both psychological and emotional challenges, which presupposes that they needed to be helped and not stigmatized.
She said well-meaning citizens must marshal all resources to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its related mental health issues.
Dr Biamah-Danquah explained that funds were another challenge that the health directorate was faced with, she therefore called on benevolent organization to help in that regard.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Patrick Ziwu, Acting Executive Director, Human Right Advocacy Center, said about 6,099 officers have been trained to deal with stigmatization cases within the Greater Accra Region.
He explained that the stigmatization cases were very alarming, a situation he said needed some urgent attention by the various stakeholders.
Mr. Ziwu further added that in some situations the HRAC was compelled to engaged Community Youth Champions and Community Support Groups to help combat the stigma within the various communities.