The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has admonished Ghanaians not to use nose masks as chin guards as this will not help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chairperson of the Commission, Josephine Nkrumah said gradually many people had wrongfully redefined the usage of the nose masks and that while some used it as chin shield others put it in their pockets and only used it when confronted by security personnel, adding; “this is a dangerous phenomenon.”
Ms Nkrumah said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after leading Commission members to educate the public on the preventive measures of the disease on some principal streets of Accra.
The NCCE Street Campaign messages include: “Wear your face mask,” “It is a face mask, not a chin mask,” “Face mask is for the face not the pocket,” “Arrest the spread, comply with COVID-19 protocols,” and “The future of Ghana is in my hands, I don’t shake hands.”
She said since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Commission had periodically reviewed its educational and sensitisation campaign aimed at leaving no one behind.
“Our civic educators have entered shrines, churches, mosques, markets, travelled to hard-to-reach communities and other places with the message on adherence to the COVID-19 preventive protocols,” Ms Nkrumah said.
“We are now hitting the streets to educate pedestrians, street hawkers, and patrons of commercial and private vehicles to understand the need to observe all the World Health Organization and the Ghana Health Service’s preventive protocols.”
She said the adoption of the street campaign was part of a strategic move to ensure that all Ghanaians were well informed about the COVID-19 preventive measures.
“Let us come together to work, educate and caution all to stay safe from COVID-19. It is a collective responsibility, which would lead to the eventual stoppage of the pandemic.”
Ms Nkrumah said the NCCE had been able to achieve remarkable successes in the COVID-19 campaign because of the support from government.
She said government’s support of GH¢2.5 million through the Office of the Chief of Staff, and the 50 Suzuki vehicles from the National Security Council had contributed immensely towards stemming the spread of the disease through public education.
“We allocated these vehicles to the hotspots that had been identified by the Ghana Health Service. This helped us a lot in our education and awareness creation on the pandemic,” she said.
Ms Nkrumah said the National COVID-19 Trust Fund also supported the Commission with logistics and tools, including vehicles, public address systems, computers and some funds for maintenance purposes.
She commended the Church of Pentecost for also supporting the Commission with operational vehicles.
Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, NCCE Deputy Chairman, said the Commission wished to deepen awareness because in terms of visibility it had a challenge and the street campaign was, therefore, one activity expected to lower the kind of complacency some people were exhibiting.
“We need some level of enforcement to serve as a deterrent to those who think that the disease does not exist. And with the drop in our active cases, we need to learn lessons from other countries who really thought they had won the battle against the disease only to have a second wave. We do not want to encounter that in Ghana,” he said.
Mr Akuamoah said: “COVID-19 is real, it came to my office, I encountered it in my office, I went into self-isolation and so nobody should be complacent, we should all observe the preventive protocols.”