Mr Johnny Atibire Nyaaba, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the Sandema District hospital in the Upper East Region, says coughing and sneezing are not necessarily signs of COVID-19 infection.
He said even though dry cough was one of the symptoms of COVID-19, “It doesn't necessarily mean that when you cough or sneeze, you have the virus.”
Mr Nyaaba, who is also a member of the Chevening Alumni Association of Ghana, was speaking at a day's training workshop on COVID-19 and financial planning process for women smock weavers at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
The training, which was funded by the Chevening Alumni Programme Fund (CAPF) and the British High Commission, was an initiative of the Alumni who had received scholarships from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), United Kingdom (UK) to pursue Master's Degree programmes in the UK.
The ongoing training was across six Districts of the Region namely, the Builsa North and South Districts, the Kassena-Nankana East and West, Bongo, and the Garu Districts.
Mr Nyaaba said the use of face masks, social distancing and hand washing with soap under running water were measures meant to protect them from the virus.
He advised the women to avoid touching their faces, especially their mouths, eyes and noses without thoroughly washing their hands.
He urged the women to eat healthy and well-balanced diets with the essential nutrients and to exercise regularly to boost their immune systems to fight the virus when they get infected.
The Nurse Practitioner said despite the education on COVID-19 over the months, it was important for the public to be constantly reminded of the GHS protocols on the prevention of the virus to eradicate it.
Mr Nyaaba, who doubles as the Male Medical Ward Manager of the hospital, reminded the weavers to properly wash their hands with soap under running water when they were visibly dirty, and not use hand sanitizers, insisting that “proper hand washing will not only prevent COVID-19 infection but also prevent diarrhoea diseases.”
“If you wash your hands well, you don't need hand sanitizers. Don't use hand sanitizers on visibly dirty or soiled hands, you only use hand sanitizers when you can't see any visible dirt on your hands but have touched surfaces with your hands,” he said.
He encouraged the women to cover their mouths with their bent elbows if they wanted to cough or sneeze and wash their hands after, to prevent any possible spread of bacteria and viruses.
Mr Nyaaba as part of the training demonstrated to the about 30 weavers how to perform proper hand-washing with soap under running water, and urged them to frequently practice the procedure and also extend the knowledge to their colleagues and family members.