Accra Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, a Deputy Minister for Information, on Thursday lauded the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the government’s all-embracing approach towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic meant that CSOs also had a critical role to play in complementing national efforts.
“We are happy that our work as a Government even within this short space is being reviewed. It is clear that we have to learn from what is happening, both here and elsewhere, so that we can perfect our system,” Mr Hadzide stated.
Mr Hadzide said this during a virtual dissemination and dialogue session on the Public Perception of Government’s response to COVID-19.
“Coronavirus is novel; meaning new, because the signs or learning around it are evolving with time and so just like other countries, Ghana is also learning as we progress.
“And so a project or a system to consciously and frequently review output, measure success and ensure people acceptability or some of the decision points; for me this can only be in order and we support this move.”
The report dubbed: “Response to COVID-19 pandemic project was funded by the STAR Ghana Foundation in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Ghana Civil Society Platform on SDGs.
It is the first of two surveys which assessed citizens’ knowledge and perception of the government’s response to mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic their effectiveness.
Mr Hadzide noted that the Government’s five key strategic pillars for combating the COVID-19 pandemic are; to limit and stop importation of the disease, contain the community spread; provide adequate care and treatment for infected persons.
Others are to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the socio-economic life of Ghanaians; which include the provision of free water for three months, subsidization of electricity and the provision of stimulus package for individuals and businesses hardly hit by the pandemic.
He said the fifth strategic pillar is to deepen the nation’s self-reliance and increase its domestic capabilities.
Mr Hadzide said one of the major learning’s of the COVID-19 was that the country had to deepen self-reliance.
“We began by importing some of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), but now a lot of these PPEs such as facemask, face shields and hand sanitizers are now being produced locally.
“In fact, the last time I checked, I was informed that some other countries are approaching Ghana to purchase the PPEs that we are producing,” he said.
“I think that our attitude as a Ministry and as a Government will not be to debate on the findings, we will take it as feedback and we will put it into our workings going forward.
“We are a Government that is at the service of the people of Ghana and it is our view that the people expectations must find expression in our planning.
“We will take them on board and capture them in our planning and actions going forward.”
Mr Kwadwo Oteng, the Coordinator of the CSOs SDGs Platform, who presented, findings of the study noted that the objective of the study was to support communities, NGOs and other citizens’ groups.
It also involves developing and implementing initiatives at local and national levels for supporting vulnerable groups and the implementation of national and local response plans.
He said it was also to increase the transparency, responsiveness and accountability of the Government and its relevant agencies to citizens around the development and implementation of Covid-19 response plans, including the utilisation of resources.
The study recommended that the spread of the virus was at an alarming rate; hence the Government must step up its effort in enforcing the protocols to contain the spread, including re-instating where necessary measures that have been relaxed.
Source: Ghana News Agency