Government Challenged to Offer Comprehensive Effective Education on Covid-19

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Ghana presently has more than 6,808 cases of Covid-19 with some recoveries and deaths as of 25th May, 2020. With such high numbers of infection in Ghana, one would ask, if there has been much education on the topic and if that education has been effective. If the education has been effective, what would then account for the high rise in cases? On the contrary, if it hasn’t, then what can we do about it?

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In my opinion, I think the virus is spreading because of the ineffectiveness of education on Covid-19. There has been much scaremongering probably, because the feeling is that, this is what will get people to comply.

However, people are not that naive. After a while, they start to wonder, ask questions, etc like is happening in the USA and if they find inconsistencies, they start having doubts. You do not want your citizenry having doubts about your information in a pandemic.

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The general impression that has been created is, it has no cure and to avoid getting infected, one must desist from shaking hands and avoid touching people. Further, citizens are advised to sanitise their hands and wear a facemask anytime they step out of their homes.

The idea behind these precautionary measures is, to prevent the spread of the virus since it can easily transmit from one body to the other from the hands. Shaking of hands is part of our culture and almost every activity we perform as people, is mostly done with our hands.

However, I have a few concerns, that I believe the health experts can assist me with.

How do people recover from a disease that has no cure?
People do recover from the virus. The question is, by what means did they recover? We are told that those with strong immune systems recover whilst those with weaker immune systems don’t. Does that not mean a healthy immune system can cure the virus?

A disease like HIV AIDS and some killer diseases are incurable, with or without a healthy immune system, yet some medications can sustain such patients for a lifetime because these medications make the viruses dormant. Meanwhile, in the case of Covid-19, people with a healthy immune system recover completely; although in some few cases, the immune systems overreact and rather cause a breakdown.

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Therefore, I find it difficult to understand why it will be generalized that, it has no cure. No man can recover from a disease without a cure, unless a miracle. So, in my opinion, communication should be that, there is a cure for those with a strong immune system, but not for those with a weak immune system. This point is further buttressed by the president and the health ministry, who indicate that those who died as a result of Covid-19 in Ghana, died because of other underlying sicknesses. Meaning, a weakened immune system is the main cause of all the deaths in Ghana so far.

Why the overfocus on handwashing alone?
My next concern is with the focus of most Covid-19 adverts on the regular washing of hands. It is an undisputed fact that, we touch our faces much more than any other part of our body. Yet we keep focusing solely on handwashing. What about our faces? Most facemasks available to the public do not cover our foreheads or cheeks and not very many people even wear it in town.

If someone shakes hands with an infected patient unknowingly and touches the face right after, then goes home to wash hands and touches the face again, will he/she not infect his/her family through touching of objects and touching them as well? I have been to homes, towns, villages where I had to tell people to bath well whenever they go home before they touch anything else.

There are those who board trotro or commercial vehicles, who many a time place their elbows on the window side of these vehicles as well as the seats, they could pick up anything with these parts of their bodies.
What should be done?

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In summary, let’s intensify the education on Covid-19 by adapting the following communication:

1. Bath regularly, especially anytime you step out of your home for longer than an hour or where you either touch or talk more.

2. Let’s encourage ourselves that, there is a cure for those with strong immune systems, therefore we should eat healthily and exercise, so we can build our immune systems.

3. Let’s learn to trust our own herbalists, instead of always depending on foreign organisations. For this attitude of always depending on foreign relations has become too much of a colonial disease itself, that must be cured. Let’s trust our own. Let’s fund our herbalists. Otherwise we will end up wasting money on foreign science and medications. Our herbalists can do this. Africa, let’s rise up.

4. Let’s educate the masses more on the proper way of wearing and removal of gloves and facemasks because a lot of people are spreading the viruses through the improper wearing of gloves and facemasks.

I, therefore, call on our noble President, H.E Nana Addo Danquah, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Information to educate us properly because, at the moment, there is too much fear and panic that in my opinion, is unnecessary. Should we adopt the right approach, we will overcome this sooner than expected. May the good Lord bless our homeland Ghana. We will beat this very soon.

Enoch
Enoch Egyir – Media Consultant.

Written by Enoch Egyir.
Media Consultant.

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