Traditional Authorities empowered to help sensitize communities on COVID-19

Nandom, (U/W), May 6, GNA - The Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD) - North has empowered Traditional Authorities in the Nandom Municipality with appropriate information on the COVID-19 pandemic for them to help sensitize members of their communities.

This, according to Mr Ben Guri, Executive Director of CIKOD, was necessary because chiefs were well revered in their communities, and as a result when they speak the people listen and comply.

Speaking during the CIKOD Community COVID-19 support programme in Nandom, Mr Guri noted that empowering the Chiefs to lead the community sensitization was the way to go to win the war against the pandemic.

The Executive Director of CIKOD noted that Ghana and for that matter Africa, lacked a robust health system to be able to contain the pandemic if it spreads as it did in other developed worlds, adding the only solution was a vigorous sensitization of the populace on the best practices against the disease so that they would be aware and therefore practice the necessary protocols to protect themselves against the disease.

Dr Gabriel Gbiel Benorkuu, National Chairman, Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health appealed to the chiefs to preach the benefits of consistently wearing the face mask to the people to ensure compliance.

He stressed that the wearing of the face mask and the social distancing protocol were the two most important strategies used by the countries that have so far been able to contain or slow down the spread of the disease.

He said he visited a small market in a village within the Nandom Municipality and out of the about 320 people he counted, only one person was wearing a face mask, which he described as a worrying situation and needed to be addressed urgently.

Dr Aduwia David Adobasom, Acting Medical Superintendent of the St. Theresa's Hospital in Nandom said one could contract the disease through the mouth, nostrils, and the eyes when one happened to touch the face with contaminated hands.

He called on the people to also take the washing of hands with soap under running water and the use of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) recommended alcohol-based sanitizers serious to avoid contracting the disease.

"Stay home if you don't have any serious business outside; this is because when you stay at home, you save yourself from either contracting or spreading the disease", he admonished.

Mr Lawrence Ashiara, the Nandom Municipal Immigration Commander appealed to the chiefs to educate their people on the danger involved concerning the spread of the disease when they shield foreigners coming into the country illegally in their homes.

He also appealed to the people to respect the social distancing protocol and stop gathering at drinking spots, out-doorings, and market centers among others, adding that it was a risk to do that.

Madam Genevieve Yiripare, the Nandom Municipal Director of Health Services noted that the Municipality recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on the 18th of April, 2020, but had to release the person to the regional level due to lack of a place to keep the person.

She added that presently, the Municipality also has nine suspected cases out of which samples had been taken for testing and the results were yet to be released.

The Municipal Health Director appealed to relatives of persons under quarantine to stop harassing them with calls for their release and rather support them because it was for their benefit.

The project is jointly being implemented by CIKOD and Groundswell International with funding from the 11th Hour Project.