As part of measures to step-forward awareness creation and reduce the spread of corona virus disease, 50 voluntary Peer Educators has been trained on COVID-19 and prevention in the Wassa East District of the Western Region.
The volunteers drawn from 25 communities are expected to compliment the work of other mandated agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Information Services Department and the NCCE.
The programme was organized by World University Service of Canada (WUSC), an NGO and facilitated by the District Health Directorate, Information Services Department and the Department of Social Welfare and community Development under the West African Governance and Economic Sustainability in Extractive Areas (WAGES) project.
Speaking at the inaugural opening, the Field Coordinator of WAGES, Mr. Rusmond Anyinah said although WAGES’ mandate is in mining and sustainable local economic development in Wassa East and Prestea Huni Valley, they are compelled to assist Government efforts in achieving health for all by containing the spread of the virus, adding that one way of doing that is by educating the people about the covid 19 pandemic.
The District Director of Health, Mr. Emmanuel AffelKum praised the volunteers for their selflessness in accepting to take up the responsibility to educate people within their community on covid 19, he explained that some people usually look out for financial rewards before they put themselves forward for any engagement.
He, however, advised the volunteers to conduct their activities based on information given to them by the facilitators and stay away from opinionated information.
A Health Promotion Officer and An Assistant Social Development Officer, Mr. Prince Atta Amanfo and Jewel Archer respectively schooled participants on topics such as how covid 19 can be prevented, symptoms, transmission, techniques for hand washing and stigmatization. The rest are domestic violence, child labour and child trafficking during the covid 19 period.
For his part, The Wassa East District Information Officer, Mr. Frank Kwabena Danso underscored the need for the covid- 19 education to be done in the dialect or language the people can comprehend, explaining that the education will yield the needed impact if volunteers communicate in the language of the people.
He further tasked them to factor in their target audience, the medium by which the education will be delivered to reach a larger audience as well as the time for the education.
According to the information officer, the covid- 19 education should target each and every individual member of the community and advised the participants to use the Community Information Centers, Churches, Mosques among other far reaching mediums.
He also said time is of essence in every endeavour and urged the volunteers to be strategic in using the appropriate time for the education, stressing that majority of the people in the district are farmers, hence the need to conduct the education either at dawn or in the early hours of the evening, where most of the people will be at home.
The volunteers were provided with educational materials, such as posters and leaflets. They also received two branded shirts, two face mask and hand sanitizers.
Source: Frank Danso