Chairman of the National Risk Communications and Social Mobilisation Committee for COVID-19, Dr DaCosta Aboagye has pleaded with Ghanaians to welcome the setting up of isolation centres in their communities as part of measures to help in the fight against Covid-19.
This, according to him, will protect, not only persons suspected to have contracted the disease, but every other person living within the community and accordingly reduce the risk of spread.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, 12th May 2020 after a press briefing, Dr DaCosta Aboagye said the National Risk Communication and Social Mobilisation team is working closely with relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of Information, the regional and districts health directorates, MMDAs, some NGOs, the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), and many others to intensify public education and community engagements on Covid-19 across the country.
Dr DaCosta Aboagye, who doubles as the Director of Health Promotion at the Ghana Health Service, noted that “the focus of this renewed education campaign shall be on the aspects of the public education involving stigma and the many benefits of having isolation centres in communities”.
Commenting on the incidence in Obuasi and some parts of the country where some residents in communities earmarked for the setting up of isolation centres are protesting against the proposal, Dr. DaCosta did not mince words in condemning such actions, and said, if persuasion fails, the authorities may be left with no option but to deploy security personnel to ensure compliance in furtherance of the national interest.
Indeed, he confirmed that in the specific case of Obuasi, the epicenter of Covid-19 in the Ashanti Region, security personnel have already been deployed to that part of town following reports that some residents were protesting against plans to establish an isolation centre in their community.
This notwithstanding, the Health Promotions expert, Dr Aboagye, disclosed that his outfit is working with the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Obuasi East, Ms Faustina Amissah , the Police, Regional and District Health directorates to support the people of Obuasi to come to terms with the new normal and accordingly accept the isolation centre.
Finally, Dr DaCosta pleaded with traditional leaders, heads of faith- based organisations and celebrities in the country to join the Covid -19 stigma education, education on the benefits of isolation centre as well as the campaign on other preventive etiquettes.