Religious Leaders call for collective efforts to stop misconceptions and fears about Covid-19 vaccines at TLF, Asheyie & Amrahia community engagement
Asheyie Imam Abdullah Mumin has acknowledged the urgent need to intensify education, sensitization and awareness creation to minimise misconceptions and fears about lead poisoning, Yellow Fever and Covid-19 vaccines. According to Asheyie Imam Abdullah Mumin, every disease has a medicinal remedy designed by Allah through mankind to prevent it if communities will master confidence in vaccines and fully participate in vaccination programmes on Covid-19, Lead poisoning and Yellow Feaver vaccination.
Sheikh Ali Abubakar Napari (left), CEO of The Light Foundation and Asheyie Chief Nii Koney Dumanye (Right) in African apparel.
In his opening remarks, Asheyie Presbyterian Catechist (Pastor) Samuel Osei Kesseh has advised residents and participants to master confidence and take vaccines being rolled by government to prevent Yellow Feaver, Lead poisoning and Covid-19. According to him, there is no need to reject vaccines because of fake news being spelt out by anti-vaccine influencers. You ignore vaccines at your own risks”.
Ghana is currently undergoing vaccination coupled with other measures being rolled out by government to contain, combat and prevent the spread of infectious Covid-19 pandemic. Research conducted by the Research and Development Division of Ghana Health Service revealed that effects of Covid-19 on service delivery, varied across regions and the type of service in Ghana. Apart from that, some services within the health sector were affected more than others whilst some regions and communities suffered more than others.
Despite initial disruptions, Ghana was able to maintain essential service delivery during Covid-19 pandemic. But, some communities unmet operations needed for healthcare services, fear of Covid-19 infection affected utilisation of health services but the situation is improving.
Aside this, the reserch also shows that the introduction of vaccines is a major steps in the fight against Covid-19.
Speaking at Asheyie and Amrahia Communities’ Engagement on Friday 4 February 2022 under Religious Leaders Support for Covid-19 Vaccines confidence, Lead Poisoning and Yellow Feaver by The Light Foundation in partnership with UNICEF in Accra-Ghana, Asheyie Imam Abdullah Mumin said “There is urgent need for community engagement and public to overcome fears and misconceptions around Covid-19 vaccines. The Light Foundation’s agenda to write-off the vaccine fears and misconceptions is what communities need to complement national efforts to fight diseases. This is a giant step in the right direction. There is no disease on Earth without Allah’s interventions to prevent it”.
Shikh Ali Abubakar Napari, CEO of The Light Foundation addressing participants at Asheyie and Amrahia community engagement.
Speaking at the community engagement, Chief Executive Officer of The Light Foundation, Shikh Ali Abubakar Napari urged participants to “apply lessons from the community engagement to improve healthcare. Apart from Covid-19 vaccination, let’s adopt behavioural patterns that prevent lead poisoning and Yellow Feaver. I thank Asheyie Chief, Imams, Pastors, residents of both Asheyie and Amrahia who spent time out of their busy schedules to fully participate in the programme. May Allah bless you! Thank you so much”.
Contributing to the debate, Amrahia Assemblyman Hon. Nii Amoah expressed confidence that “We all have a stake in the exercise to help address the issue of Covid-19 intended to meet the head immunity. The Light Foundation is a key stakeholder in the Covid-19 fight. We now have the vaccines so we need people to take them. We should also practise lessons we have learnt from today’s community engagement on Lead poisoning and Yellow Feaver”.
Hon. Nii Amoah noted that “Creating awareness to make sure Ghanaians are vaccinated in line with the targets we have set for ourselves is crucial”.
For his part, Ashiyie Chief Nii Koney Dumanye entreated Asheyie and Amrahia residents to adopt behavioural patterns based on lessons from the community engagement in order to improve health outcomes”.
The Light Foundation (TLF), an Interfaith humanitarian organization operates under four key thematic areas; Water sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Child Protection and Support (CSP) Programs, Advocacy and Policy Influencing (API) and Interfaith and Peace Promotion (IPP) programs with 16 years’ experience.
The foundation has effectively collaborated with institutions such as Star Ghana Foundation, UNICEF and World Vision among others. The launch of The Light Foundation and UNICEF’s Covid19, Lead Poisoning and Yellow fever is in tune with the organization’s Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program. The Foundation in partnership with C4D unit of UNICEF-Ghana is undertaking a nine – month advocacy and sensitization project on Covid-19 WASH protocols, Vaccine Confidence, Lead Poisoning and Yellow Fever with focus on eleven communities (Kokrobite langma Dampase, Ofankor, Gonse/Joma) Accra East (Frafraha, Amrahia, Ashiyie) Accra Metro (Agbogbloshie/Abossey Okai, Ashaiman and Nungua Zongo) in the Greater Accra Region. The project seeks to collaborate with Religious Leaders, Traditional Authorities, Schools, Youth and Women Group in these communities.
The project will be providing refresher training on how these stakeholders can use their platforms and leverage on influence in their respective communities to combat misinformation on Covid-19, Demand creation for Covid-19 vaccines intake, Environmental Pollution and Yellow Fever outbreak.
The main objective of the project is to improve the effectiveness of communities’ response to Covid-19 associated WASH issues, vaccine confidence and prevention of lead poisoning especially within the urban areas and increase awareness-levels about the risk of lead poisoning for people in Ghana, particularly in the regions of high risk of lead poisoning such as in low-income high-density urban areas in Greater Accra Region.
The objectives and messages centered around the project are:
1. Baseline Data from projects location acquired and community stakeholders engaged on project objective Project inception meeting and stakeholder buy-in
2. Faith Actors, Women and Youth Leaders Duly Exposed to the prevailing covid19 WASH and vaccine confidence and LEAD POISONING trends
3. Enhanced behavioural change (misinformation) on Covid-19 WASH and Lead Poisoning awareness
4. Wide reach of Covid-19 WASH and Lead Poisoning messages through Imams congregations, Radio, TV and print media as well as websites and social media.
5. Sensitize 20 leaders of Scrap dealers on the dangers associated with unapproved or illegal recycling such as burning of discarded electronics and other gadgets.
6. Create and use murals to promote effective community engagement to increase uptake of WASH, MNCH, CP and lead poisoning in projects implementing areas.
Below are excusive pictures from the community engagement: