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General News of Thursday, 28 May 2020


Ghana not getting education on coronavirus right - UG Professor

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An Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Richmond Aryeetey, has said the public education and sensitization on Covid-19 is not sinking in well for most Ghanaians because the method used is alien.

Prof. Aryeetey revealed on the Sunrise morning show hosted by Alfred Ocansey on 3FM 92.7 Wednesday, May 27 that a new study conducted by his department shows that about 80 per cent of Ghanaians do not have secondary education or higher, therefore when communicating on the safety measures against the Covid-19 to these people, there is the need to break down the language to the level they will understand.

The study was aimed at determining preparedness and compliance for handwashing and social/physical distancing at 45 selected public transportation stations in Accra.

“About 80 per cent of us do not have secondary education or higher. So when you are communicating something to people who are largely less educated or not educated at all, the way you approach it is different from the kind of thing you do on TV and on Radio.

“You need to come down to the level of the people otherwise you talk over their heads, they don’t understand,” Prof Aryeetey said.

He added: “When you ask people that when they sneeze, they should do it into tissues, how many people carry tissues around and use? Many people do not hold tissue around so the communication at that point was not getting to the needs of the people but in our study what we were finding is that we were not doing our communication at the places where people should be hearing it in the language that they can understand.”

Read below are the topline findings of the study

1. Majority (80%) of public transportation stations in Accra have at least one Veronica Bucket with flowing water and soap but the number of washing places at each Station is not adequate.

2. Only a small minority of Stations (18%) were communicating the need to wash hands frequently and appropriately, and to practice social/physical distancing while at the station.

3. In most stations (95%), handwashing practice was either not observed or only infrequently.

4. Almost all stations (93%) did not have alcohol-based hand sanitizer for public use.

5 Social distancing was rarely practised; it was observed in only 2% of stations.

Based on these, the study recommended the following:

1. Awareness creation should aim to elevate risk perception of transportation operators and clients

2. Transport operators and stations need support and guidance to enforce handwashing and social distancing

3. Lessons from best-performing stations need to be transferred to poorly performing stations