The Medical Superintendent of the Maamobi General Hospital, Dr Dorcas Anfu Okine is calling on the public to bring an end to the stigmatization of persons who have recovered from COVID-19.
In her view, Ghanaians should be happy that these persons have recovered.
“…We are begging them to stop it. It is not a crime or shame to have COVID-19 and recover. You should rather be glad that God has saved them. They are well and back into the community. We shouldn’t shun them; it is wrong.”
She added that: “as for hand washing we all already know its relevance, it is the stigmatization that is now disturbing us. Let us learn to love our neighbours as ourselves…After all, they have recovered and not infectious now”.
This comes on the back of earlier calls by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for Ghanaians to stop stigmatizing.
“As has been aptly stated by the Ghana Medical Association, being infected by the Coronavirus is not necessarily a death sentence. I have noticed, with great concern, the stories of some persons, who have recovered from the virus, now being confronted with another problem, i.e. stigmatization. This is not right, as it will rather drive people away from getting screened, tested and treated. The stigmatization of recovered persons must stop because if the virus did not end their lives and livelihoods, the stigma from members of their communities should not,” the President said.
There have been a number of media reports of stigmatization against persons who have recovered from COVID-19.
One of them was a father of four, Frederick Drah who faces stigmatization in his community at Mataheko, near Afienya.
Frederick Drah, was badly affected by the stigma that he said he preferred returning to the treatment centre at the Ga East Municipal Hospital, from which he had been discharged.
“I even wish, maybe, I could go back to the [quarantine] camp again,” he lamented when a Citi News team visited him.
Medical Superintendent of the Maamobi General Hospital, Dr Dorcas Anfu Okine made the call during a presentation of sanitary items to some eight health facilities within the urban centres of Accra and Tema of the Greater Accra region by the Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF).
Beneficiary facilities which are situated within the Zongo communities included Maamobi General Hospital, Mallam Atta Government Clinic, Nima Government Clinic, Salvation Army Urban Aid Clinic, Prince of Peace Clinic located at Fadama, Hajia Damata Maternity Clinic, Tema Polyclinic and Ashiaman Polyclinic.
The facilities received an average of 10 boxes of liquid soap, 2 boxes of hand sanitizers and 200 hundred pieces of reusable nose masks to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer in Charge of Finance and Administration, Hajia Aisha Salifu indicated the relevance of catering for the health needs of the Zongo communities which she said was linked to all other communities in the country and therefore cardinal to the COVID-19 fight.
The focus of the exercise, according to her, was to ensure that health facilities like those situated in the Zongo communities who might have been neglected due to their far-off locations also benefit from philanthropic support.
She added that strategies had been mapped out to ensure the items get to 40,000 households on the basis of equity and fairness across all regions in the country.