The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has launched a media community-based Covid-19 anti-stigma campaign.
Mayor, Osei-Asibey Antwi said the move is to stem the growing incidents of stigma against Covid-19 persons.
“Survivors of the virus have come to face to face with the unfortunate challenge of being stigmatised by members of their communities to the extent that they and their families are treated like outcasts,” he said.
“The phenomenon we have realised may be done out of fear, anxiety and a lack of proper understanding of the epidemiology of the disease,” he noted.
It’s under the theme ‘Help stop Covid-19 stigmatisation and discrimination, together we shall overcome’.
Simon Osei-Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, observed that the difficulty in finding isolation centres has been as a result of stigma.
“Covid-19 patient hiding their status spell doom for the country. Nobody would want to give us a place for isolation centres. That hasn’t helped in spreading the disease,” he said.
The campaign will take place in the form of drama, poetry recitals, and community outreach among others.
It is supported by Bloomberg philanthropies and vital strategies through the “partnership for healthy cities Covid-19 response initiatives,” aimed at helping cities navigate the new normal.
The campaign is meant to educate, debunk false information on Covid-19 and elicit behavioural change towards people living with Covid-19.
Of the over 1300, Covid-19 cases in the region, 37 per cent are asymptomatic.
Dr Akosua Gyimah Omari-Sasu, the Metro Health Director has, therefore, called for continuous support to help in contact tracing.
“The fight is not yet over. More support is needed as we brace ourselves for the gradual easing of the restrictions that were imposed.
“The health facilities require a continuous supply of PPE, hand sanitizers and other logistics to work and I appeal to all to support the health directorate in these institutions in this fight,” she appealed.
Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso, the CEO of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, dispelled the notion instilling Covid-19 fear in the people is the solution.
He believes disseminating knowledge is crucial in curbing the spread of the scare.