Stakeholders review communications materials for health promotion

Accra- Key stakeholder institutions including the media, NGO,s working in the area of health, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), and Information Services Department (ISD), have been engaged in reviewing the various risk communication materials for public health promotion.

The stakeholders, together with the requisite staff of the Health Promotion Division (HPD) of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), scrutinized both newly developed and existing information materials such as pull ups, flyers and posters for providing basic public education on the coronavirus outbreak and other similar outbreaks.

Dr Da Costa Aboagye, the Director for Health Promotion, HPD, underscored the importance of effective risk communication in times of disease outbreaks and in other public health emergencies to prevent rumours and panics.

He said although Ghana had not recorded any cases of coronavirus, it was important to intensify public education with the appropriate messages and information at various points, especially the ports of entries and places for social gathering, to prevent the spread of the disease should it be found in the country.

He said the HPD with its with additional responsibility to ensure the effective management of rumours during disease outbreaks and in all other public health emergencies, deemed the development of these health promotion materials as crucial to the success of quality healthcare in Ghana.

Dr Aboagye, however, said the Division already had a comprehensive National Risk Communication Plan in place, and had since the outbreak of the new coronavirus in China, developed key messages for the Airport and international arrivals.

These he said, included pull-ups with clear educational messages on the new coronavirus outbreak, and also jingles, which the Airport play regularly to further alert passengers at both departure and arrivals of the disease, its preventive measures and the available support systems should there be the need.

Further, the Division has also shared widely, messages on the symptoms of the new coronavirus infection, preventive measures, and supporting systems on its diverse social media platforms- Twitter and Facebook, which were always alive to give timely updates on the outbreak, he added.

Dr Aboagye stated that “We are briskly following our Risk Communication and Social Mobilisation Plans with key messages and education, and continued to collaborate with others Public Health Departments under the Ministry of Health and GHS as well as port health authorities, development partners, and Civil Society to ensure that no case of coronavirus is reported in the country,”.

Again, all District and Regional Health Directorates have been advised to be on alert and increase surveillance at the various ports of entry Dr Aboagye appealed to the public and the media to desist from rumour mongering, which created fear and panic, and to cooperate with the requisite authorities in the fight against the spread of coronavirus or all other communicable disease.

He also urged the business community to financially assist to complement government’s allocation of GH2.5 million start-up money for the implementation of the initial response for the national preparedness plan.

Source: Ghana News Agency