As part of efforts to encourage patronage of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise, the NCCE, Ghana Health Service (GHS) have started a series of stakeholder engagement with various groups to drive support for the exercise.
The first stakeholder engagement was with the Ghana National Teachers Association (GNAT) in Accra. Deputy Chairman of the NCCE in charge of Finance and Administration, Ms. Kathleen Addy, speaking at the meeting highlighted the need to intensify efforts to encourage the public to take the vaccine.
She stressed the essence of getting everyone on board in the exercise so that the country would achieve herd immunity and further reduce the severity and spread of the virus.
While debunking some rumours the vaccines were made by whites to kills us, Ms. Addy asked Ghanaians to disabuse their minds of the misconceptions surrounding the exercise and be ambassadors to drive support for the vaccination programme in the country.
Dr. Naziru Tanko Mohammed, a Senior Medical Officer, and the Vaccine Safety Monitoring Focal Person, in an update of the COVID-19 National Vaccine Deployment Plan, emphasised the fact that vaccines save lives, adding that taking the COVID-19 vaccines will contribute to reducing the rate of deaths.
He explained that the deployment plan targets segments of the population based on risk assessment, adding Phase II of the vaccination exercise targets all healthcare workers throughout the country and urged the Teachers to encourage their colleagues and the public to get vaccinated.
Likewise, Mr. Jerry Fiave, Health Promotion Specialist with the GHS, touching on a study on the knowledge, attitude, and behaviour of the public on COVID-19, stated that we are not only fighting a pandemic but ‘infodemic’ which is in the form of info overload, rumours.
He, therefore, entreated the participants to as much as possible back their communication on the COVID-19 vaccines on facts.
The Deputy Director, Advocacy and Social Mobilisation, Health Promotion Division, GHS, Mabel Kissiwah Asafo, who moderated the programme advised GNAT to encourage their members to participate in the vaccination.
Similarly, Mr. Daniel Affadu, Deputy General Secretary, Administration and Labour, GNAT commended the NCCE, GHS, and the resource persons for their time and gave the assurance that GNAT will advocate and encourage the public to participate in the vaccination exercise.
Of the 570,000 people targeted in the first phase of the vaccination exercise, 457,844 were vaccinated as of 8:00 pm on 18th March 2021. With 105 new cases and 3091 active cases and 731 deaths. The NCCE and officials of the Ghana Health service are optimistic that with sustained public sensitisation the country can reduce the spread of the cases.