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Regional News of Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Source: GNA

Tema environmental health officers appeal for intensification of coronavirus education

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Environmental health officers of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) have appealed to government to intensify education on the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that Ghana curbs its spread.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, they said they need for more intensified education could not be overemphasized as some citizens still did not believe that the virus was real.

Mr Benjamin Kwame Opare, an Environmental Health Officer, said the education on the disease must be well structured to capture the attention of all citizens and residents.

He observed that many people who might have had a piece of information on the virus but did not fully appreciate it, leading to their refusal to comply with the various preventive protocols.

He said it was not enough to play jingles on radio and television or use information vans without assessing the impact of the messaging adding that “the alarming rate at which the information on the ground outweighs awareness creation is a cause for worry”

Mr Opare, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Benemef Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization, reiterated the need for government and other stakeholders to cause a behavioural change among the public through intensive education.

He stated for instance that even though commercial vehicles have been directed to reduce the number of passengers they carried, their vehicles could still be a source of spread of the diseases and therefore the need for passengers to receive proper education on how to prevent contracting the disease in public transport.

He explained that critical attention must be paid to the seats in commercial vehicles as some passengers touch the surfaces and back of the seats to either board or alight and unknowingly touch their faces.

He added that on several occasions, the commercial vehicle conductors “mates” also use their lips to hold the notes when collecting the fares and afterwards issue those monies to passengers as change, a situation he said could transfer the virus to unsuspecting persons.

He said there was the need to support and engage Environmental Health officers in the fight against COVID-19 in the various communities as their work involved interacting with residents in their residents.

Mr Joshua Manab, Assistant Chief Environmental Officer at TMA, on his part reminded residents that the COVID-19 was real and close to 7,000 people had been infected in Ghana and therefore reiterated the need for proper handwashing, wearing of masks and adhering to the various protocols.

Mr Manab said it was unfortunate that some Ghanaians claimed God was bigger than the virus, therefore, they would not comply with the COVID-19 protocols saying “yes God is bigger than the disease but this same God gives instructions for mankind to follow to preserve their lives”.

He reminded the public that even though it was part of the Ghanaian culture to shake hands, they should consciously avoid it in this time of the COVID-19 and rather resort to other means of greeting.