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Regional News of Sunday, 11 April 2021

Source: Akpabli Daniel Yao, Contributor

SOSSAH, St Anthony’s Hospital staff storm Basic schools with Covid-19 Outreach programs

The initiative comes as part of measures to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 The initiative comes as part of measures to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19

SOSSAH in collaboration with a team of medical staff from the St Anthony’s hospital in Dzodze, the Ketu North Municipal capital of the Volta Region, have embarked on Covid-19 education outreach program in basic schools across the Municipality.

The outreach program comes weeks after the hospital facility is again opened for business after weeks of shut down as part of measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 when cases recorded in the facility increased.

The team made a stop at Dzodze Mawuli school complex where they took hundreds of children through education and hand washing techniques as well as donating face masks and carbolic soaps to them.

Madam Quist Justine, a Senior Public Health Nursing Officer and the leader of the team noted that, their main aim of reaching out to all basic schools in the municipality is to educate the pupils as measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

According to her, SOSSAH in collaboration with the St Anthony’s hospital deemed it necessary that, schools in their catchment areas should be assisted with education and donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) such as masks and carbolic soap to aid in the preventing of the spread of the virus.

“Recently we recorded some cases and a lot of people were infected, we tried to manage it and at a point in time, we put some precautionary measures in place so that the disease will not outweigh the health workers and as part of this, we decided to embark on this outreach program to reduce the infection rate” she explained.

She said when masks are given to the students together with the necessary education, it helps to at least prevent them from getting the virus.

“As we educate the student on how best to wash their hands, it prevents them in case they should get the virus on surfaces, as they’ve washed their hands well as demonstrated to them, it helps them from getting infected by the covid-19”

She thanked SOSSAH and other individual who have supported the project adding that, people can also support with PPE’s and others as the team continues to embark on their outreach in school across the municipality.

She further pleaded for support from the general public to enable them get to other schools in the municipality.

Madam Eunice Tsigbey, a senior Midwife and a member of the team noted that, majority of the pupils have heard about the covid-19 but they do not have at hand some of the information the team gave them.

“Looking at the student with demonstration and the teaching of the handwashing techniques we have done for them, I think positively, it has had an impact on them and I hope they will take it to their various homes and churches and share with their colleagues and parents”

Madam Tsigbey is therefore hopeful that, the pupils will send the message to their various communities and by the end of the day, collectively fight the coronavirus together and gain back the society.

A physician Assistant, Raymond Asafo who took the Pupils through education on the Covid-19 vaccine said, he is very amazed about the questions the pupils were asking during the interaction sections.

According to him, "the vaccine is not something they should have talked about per the audiences (Pupils) age group but we thought it wise to talk about it to equip them on the issues of myth and misconception with the purpose that, they can be messengers to propagate the good news about the vaccine."

“Basically, we took them through a whole lots of issues relating to covid-19 and I talked about the vaccine and its side effect that comes with it. It was a great opportunity to have an encounter with the students. The pupils were already abreast with the covid-19 issue so it was so good and interactive talking about the vaccine," he added.

He further thanked the sponsors and the school for collaboration and given the team the necessary support to come with this kind gesture.

However, Danyo Harriet Fafali on behalf of her colleague pupils expressed gratitude to the team for the education and promise that, they as students will take every bit of the education seriously and be ambassadors in their various homes.

She further admonished those spreading negative information about the vaccine to stop and get the proper education to help prevent the spread of the virus and save lives.

Mr. Acolatse Hope, a teacher from the Mawuli School Complex added that, their wish is for the program to be organized periodically especially in times where there is an outbreak of diseases.

He said, the demonstration led by the team with emphasis on regular handwashing, will go a long way to help the children as he noted most pupils do not know how to wash their hands in the proper way.

“The program was organized in such a way that has affected the pupils positively. The whole misconception about the vaccine is cleared and I believe that the children are going to reach out to parents and others in their various homes and educate those that are not interested in taking the vaccine. We are very grateful to the team.”

SOSSAH is an organization in the Volta Region in Ghana that collaborates in its own way with St. Anthony's Hospital in Dzodze and provides support to the hospital and the vulnerable communities around. These are mainly large, poor, child-rich farming families where the children are often seen as extra helping hands for the heavy work on the land.

They also provide support to widows, disabled people, in short, the vulnerable. In addition, they support the hospital materially and with whatever comes on their way, such as now the current Covid19 pandemic. They provide emergency help with food and water shortages. This is often combined with providing information to these vulnerable groups.

In Ghana, Justine, a public health nurse, regularly visits the many vulnerable households spread over various villages. She helps them to seek medical help. Justine includes the most vulnerable among them in her social program.

Both the hospital and the communities receive help in the form of medical, equipment, food, water, care, education and sometimes financial support, for example for education, which benefits self-sustainability.

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