President Nana Akufo-Addo is troubled about reports that persons who have fully recovered from Covid-19 are being reportedly stigmatised by people in their communities.
“This is not right, as it will rather drive people away from getting screened, tested and treated,” he said Sunday in a televised address to the nation.
The President said, “such stigmatisation of recovered persons must stop because if the virus did not end their lives and livelihoods, the stigma from members of their communities should not.”
His comments come on the heels of narration, Fred Drah, one of the survivors of the viral infection.
Mr Drah has narrated his ordeal as he and his family have been forced to fight another battle – stigmatisation – since returning home, despite being certified as someone who has made a full recovery.
According to him, after granting a few interviews on both radio and television to educate people on the virus and its implication, residents in his community found out about his ordeal and refused to associate with his family.
“I came home on Sunday and was told by the psychologist to stay indoors, but after certain interviews that I did, my wife will go to town and by the time she comes back she will be crying.
“If she wants to buy something, they will always say it’s not available. I went out to ‘barber’ my hair and the gentleman told me to wait for him but never returned,” he said.
Touching on the issue President Akufo-Addo re-echoed the position of the Ghana Medical Association that being infected with the coronavirus “is not necessarily a death sentence.”
He, therefore, urged the public desist from stigmatising recovered patients and heed to all the measures that have been outlined by the Ghana Health Service and its allied agencies leading the coronavirus fight.
Another issue the President identified as the other fight – apart from stigmatization – that the is fighting in addition to the coronavirus, is “…dissemination of fake news, disinformation and outright lies by some unpatriotic citizens about the spread of the virus since its outbreak in the country.”
“These acts are being orchestrated by those who hope to benefit by seeking to sow the seeds of panic and confusion amongst the populace at this time of national crisis.
“I have an unequivocal message for those involved in these despicable acts – put an immediate stop to it, or be held accountable for your actions,” he advised the originators of the falsehoods.