Aucc JHR
Aucc JHR

The Journalists For Human Rights (JHR) – African University College of Communications (AUCC) Chapter has expressed their worry over the inhuman outrageous rise in prices of alcohol based hand sanitizers following the confirmation of cases of corona virus in Ghana on Thursday 12th March.

In a press release signed their president Michael Kofi Oduro, general secretary Isaac Asare Owusu and communications officer Selassie Amu, they said the pandemic is supposed to be of grave human concern but unfortunately producers, retailers, supermarkets, pharmacies and chemical shops among others who trade in the prescribed precautionary products are exploiting citizens and selling products at unreasonable prices.

They said since Ghana recorded its first case of COVID-19, prices of sanitizers have doubled with traders cashing in on the sale of the product in some jurisdictions.

“This we believe is thwarting the effort of government in dealing with the situation at hand. In as much as the product is on high demand, this is the time for us as Ghanaians to show concern and act responsibly and not capitalize on the unfortunate turn of event to enrich themselves” they expressed.

“The JHR AUCC-Chapter considers the suspension of public gatherings and closure of schools and universities by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo as welcoming. With the increasing rate of new virus and deaths associated, the televised pronouncement by the President on Sunday evening is a step in the right direction and will greatly impact the measures to avert the spread. The executive arm of government has taken a positive stance in ensuring public safety, we as citizens equally owe it a responsibility in the fight against the global pandemic by adhering to the directives as outlined by the president, the World Health Organization, the Ghana Health Service and other authorized agencies”.

“As human right activists, we think citizens have the right to fair trading as enshrined in the Consumer Protection Act of 2014. Over the years, the consumer protection act which aims to promote fairness , openness as well as good business practices on goods and services has suffered a major setback due to lack of compliance and enforcement” they said.

Meanwhile, the law is specifically designed to prevent unfair business practices that directly affect consumers on daily basis. Uncontrolled price tags and discrimination from sale of products and services have become the order of the day with vulnerable citizens and groups being the worst affected. JHR consider this as inhumane, irresponsible and an affront on people‘s right for fair trading.

JHR wishes to draw attention of government through the Consumer Protection Agency to act swiftly by coming out with a controlled price on sanitizers to alleviate the plight of the poor and less privileged. The move will help sanitize the system, thereby promoting fairness and social inclusiveness for the voiceless. It will also to a larger extent contribute to the prevention and control of COVID-19 among other infectious diseases. To this background, it has become imperative for other concerned bodies to compliment the effort of government as it take steps to control the pandemic.

They also called for close collaboration between the media and the health sector of the country in providing the right information to the general public as far as the viral disease is concerned. Social media and other news portals are flooded with information that are inaccurate and misleading.

They called for efforts to be made to help provide accurate and reliable information for public consumption.

“Misinformation on the deadly COVID-19 is a serious health threat and must be discarded. People should desist from falsehood in order not to create fear and panic. The general public is hereby advised to adhere to safety measures from government and the World Health Organisation. Let us put shoulders to the wheel and fight this deadly scourge.

Together we can fight COVID-19” they stressed.

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