COVID-19: Programme to ensure safety of markets, fight stigmatization out-doored

COVID-19: Programme to ensure safety of markets, fight stigmatization out-doored

A year’s Integrated Hygiene Behaviour Change Campaign aimed at ensuring safety at market places and ‘fighting’ stigmatization against COVID-19 survivors through mass media has been outdoored in Accra on Thursday.

The campaign will target 15 markets in the Northern, Eastern, and Greater Accra regions to keep them safe and promote equal rights for all market agents and government staff in enforcing COVID-19 protocols.
It is christened, Safety of Markets & Pre-empting Stigmatization of COVID-19 Survivors, and being implemented by WaterAid Ghana with funding from Mastercard Foundation.

It was launched on the Resources Centre Network National Learning Alliance Platform Ghana. Mr Jesse Coffie Danku, the Head of Programmes at WaterAid, speaking at a virtual launch said the project would reach at least four million people and of, which 2.8 million-representing 72 percent would be women. He said the project would work to sustain good hygiene practices and prevent re-infection as well as control the increase in numbers of COVID-19 positive cases. Mr Danku said there would be emergency support for front line health workers, reintegrating survivors, and support students.

Ms Nathalie Akon Gabala, Regional Director West, Central & Northern Africa at Mastercard Foundation said the programme had two fundamental aims – support for health workers and first responders and providing emergency funds for students. She said the impact would cover both the present and the future and enhance economic recovery.

The support, Ms Gabala said would expand access to financial services for micro, small, and medium enterprises, which would enable businesses to withstand the economic effects of COVID-19, explore options for digitizing businesses, and potentially contribute to public health response through the production and distribution of critically-needed health care products and equipment. She said it would support the adoption of digital solutions to address the real needs of populations such as financial services; food production and delivery, housing and construction, transportation and logistics, as well as tools for everything from public health to supply chain management.

“By supporting these initiatives, we will be deepening the capacity of diverse institutions to weather and respond to this crisis, while building their resilience. The goal is to help ensure that on the other side of this challenge, communities rise up stronger and institutions emerge ready to lead and support the important work of reigniting economies”, Ms Gabala said.

She said market women played an integral role in the food value chain hence the need to support them to keep their families safe. Ms Gabala said stigmatization was crucial to the containment of the virus and that providing wash facilities at transport yard and market would help protect everyone.

Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources in a statement delivered on her behalf urged the public to shun the stigmatization of persons who had recovered from CODVID 19. She said practicing safe hygienic was an old age practice and needed to be intensified in other to win the COVID19 war. Madam Dapaah appealed to the public to adhere to all safety protocols, especially the wearing of face masks and regular washing of hands with soap under running water.

Source:Ghana News Agency