USAID trains stakeholders to be COVID-19 vaccine myth busters  

As part of efforts to tackle hesitancy and demystify perception about COVID-19 vaccines, a training workshop has been held for key stakeholders to become “myth busters” in the Western Region.

The workshop, organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Care Continuum Project, was to encourage more people to get vaccinated as a safeguard against the COVID-19.

It was held in collaboration with JSI Research and Training Institute, the Ghana Health Service, through the Global VAX project to enhance the vaccination efforts.

Influential community members including leaders of youth groups, faith-based institutions, teachers, traditional authorities and artisans were selected for the training and equipped with skills to debunk misinformation and disinformation on the COVID-19 vaccines.

They are to mobilise people, aged 15 years and above, pregnant women, people living with HIV, people with disability, and migrant population, among others, to access COVID-19 vaccines in the Western, Western-North and Ahafo regions and accelerate the delivery of more than three million COVID-19 vaccinations in these regions.

Mr Richard Adupong, the Communication Advisor of USAID Care Continuum Projects JSI, said Ghana was at a significant turning point in its vaccination campaign with vaccine availability significantly ramping up with roughly 13.5 million vaccine doses received between December 2021 and early February 2022.

He said as of February 18, 2022 Ghana had received more than 27.4 million COVID-19 vaccines with 19.3 million doses deployed.

Information on COVID-19 vaccination safety from the Ghana Health Service and the World Health Organisation revealed that the vaccines were safe, free and accessible throughout the country, he said.

Mr Daniel Bomfeh, the Western Regional Health Promotional Officer, who gave an update on the COVID-19 in the region, said it had recorded 8,785 positive cases from April 2020 to date with 8,702 cases discharged and 75 deaths as of October 2020.

Active cases are now eight in four districts; Tarkwa, Ellembelle, Wassa-East, and Amenfi-East.

Mr Bomfeh said the cases had reduced, but the disease was still prevalent, hence the health immunity campaign to get more people vaccinated.

He said only 30.6 per cent of the population in the region had been vaccinated and advised the people to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 preventive protocols.

Mr Bomfeh said the training would equip stakeholders with skills to handle rumours, risk communication, and advocacy to convince the populace to go for the vaccine.

He charged the COVID-19 Myth Busters to ensure that effective risk communication resulted in effective response to public health disease outbreak.

Source: GNA

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