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25.02.2021 Opinion

Employ Community Health and Public Health Experts to fight against new cases of covid-19 recorded and to reduce public apprehension of Covid-19 Vaccination.

By Faridu Abdul-Wadudu
Employ Community Health and Public Health Experts to fight against new cases of covid-19 recorded and to reduce public apprehension of Covid-19 Vaccination.
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The world is searching for a panacea to a common enemy; covid-19 pandemic. The incessant quest to fight this pandemic is of great interest to every country including our beloved Ghana. In that regard, the country has adopted a lot of multifaceted approaches to minimize the escalation of this covid-19 pandemic. Paramount amongst the measures employed includes the introduction of restrictions, periodic update of the nation by the president and the exemption of health workers from income tax payment to motivate them fight the pandemic head-on at the various health facilities and centres in the country. Until the steadily sharp increase in new infections, usually referred to as the second wave of the infection in the country, some appreciable gains were made in the common fight to drastically reduce the number of active covid-19 cases. A lot of questions therefore beg for answers; what different approaches should be employed to bring lasting solution to the increase in new cases recorded on daily basis? What are the justifications for the new approaches being adopted to fight the infection?

The devastating effects of the infection, including increase in death cases and post-infection complications cannot be underestimated. Life is precious and invaluable so we must jealously guard it in any way possible. Therefore, the root cause(s) of the sharp increase in the active cases should be identified alongside its remedy.

Arguably, vaccination has proven to be an effective way of strengthening the immunity of a population against such infectious conditions. However, the population has to be willing and ready to tread along the path of vaccination as a crucial step towards the fight against this pandemic. It is important for the government and the Ministry of Health to employ among other things the services of people with firm background in community health and public health to seduce the public apprehension of the covid-19 vaccination, improve adherence to the guidelines and protocols of covid-19 and to increase positive health outcomes, especially at the community levels, in markets and in schools. Community health experts, just like public health experts have requisite understanding of what influences the health behaviours of people and are better positioned to make a conducive community entry, to provide comprehensive health education and promotion as well as conscientising people on their health determining factors. They are trained at handling such public apprehensions regarding health-related issues. The University for Development Studies for instance has trained a lot of such graduates. It will be in the interest of the country for them to be prioritized in our collective fight to overcome this menace and triumph as a country.

Health is wealth. Health is everything. Whatever we can do to promote health should be encouraged and supported. Together with tenacity, we shall survive this pandemic and make our nation great and strong. Stay safe!!!

Faridu Abdul-Wadudu is the writer of this piece, he is a nurse and an MPhil candidate in Community Health and Development at the University for Development Studies, Tamale.

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