Only 30.6 percent of the targeted group for COVID-19 vaccination in the Western Region are fully immunized against COVID-19.
This means only a handful of them are immune to the deadly virus that brought the world to its knees.
This was made known by the Western Regional Health Promotion officer Daniel Bonfeh at a training programme held Thursday 3rd November 2022 for some forty (40) influential members of communities in the Western Region, who will also serve as volunteers, to help correct misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccination.
According to Mr. Bonfeh, vaccine hesitancy is fueled by rumours and misinformation covering the COVID-19 vaccines that were administered by the Government of Ghana through the Ghana Health Service (GHS) for free.
It is at the back of this reason the training was organized for what the USAID describes as “Myth Busters”.
The one day training programme which was put together by JSI in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) through the Global VAX Project and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was aimed at equipping the participants with the necessary information to deflate the misinformation and rumours that have come along with the vaccines and the vaccinations.
Mr. Daniel Bonfeh said the training will help break the rumours about the vaccines. “We did this programme to abreast them with how they can manage rumours and how they can conduct risk communication activities. Because one key challenge we are facing as a region (Western) is vaccine hesitancy. People don't want to accept the vaccines and some of the reasons we hear are negative rumours they have heard about the vaccine that is why they don't want to take the vaccines”, Mr. Bonfeh said.
The Health Promotion Officer believes that the Myth Busters will be able to convince those who have not yet taken the jab to do so whiles educating and correcting their community members about the misinformation about the vaccine.
On his part the Communications Advisor, USAID care Continuum Project, JSI Richard Adupong expressed that, the project implemented by JSI, will specifically be leveraging its existing network to mobilize people aged 15 years and above, pregnant women, people living with HIV, people with disabilities, and migrant populations, among others, to access COVID-19 vaccines in some three regions including Western, Western North, and Ahafo regions.
He stated that the main objective of the programme “is to ensure an increase in COVID-19 vaccination awareness, acceptance, and uptake of the vaccine by these targeted populations.”
This he said will be done by supporting the GHS to achieve national vaccination targets in a safe, accessible, and equitable manner.
Mr. Adupong explained that this activity is to provide implementation support to Ghana Health Service to accelerate the delivery of 3,003,035 COVID-19 vaccinations in the Western, Western North, and Ahafo Regions.
Some trainees who spoke to this reporter expressed satisfaction with the programme and promised to put to use the knowledge they acquired at the training programme in their various communities.