The Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr. John Eleeza has disclosed that stigmatisation of persons with the virus is posing a serious challenge for him and his team while conducting contact tracing.
According to him, for the fear of the stigma is compelling contact persons to feed tracers with false information.
“Now when we try to get the contacts, they are giving us false telephone contacts,” he lamented.
He narrated a recent experience involving one of the new patients admitted at the General hospital for treatment.
“One of the contacts that we caught recently, when we called he told us he was in the Tatale district while actually he was in Nanumba South so we travelled all the way to Tatale and then he said yes, he wants to meet us but we shouldn’t come to his village so we should meet at Zabzugu.
“We met at Zabzugu only to find out while interacting that the person is from a village in Nanumba South, so he journeyed all the way from Nanumba South just because he wants to avoid stigma.”
Dr Eleeza was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives and heads of departments to dialogue on how far the region has moved before during and after relaxing of some restrictions by the president.
According to the doctor, Six of the Covid-19 deaths that the Northern Region has recorded are female with only one male.
The ages of the females range from 3 months to 80 years.
Currently the region has 77 cumulative cases with 61 discharges. There are nine active cases and six are on admission out of which five are health workers bringing the total number to 95.
The Northern Regional Director of Health Service Dr John Eleeza who gave the breakdown said 86 percent of the cases are community spread which means the region is not performing well in the adhering of the health protocols which he fears may lead to a possible spike in infections..
He therefore called on the media to aid in dispelling the stigma surrounding the coronavirus and also to encourage citizens to adhere to all safety protocols to minimize spread of the virus.