The COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, in collaboration with the Ghana Psychological Association, has trained over two hundred and eighty (280) security personnel as part of the Private Sector Fund’s initiative to minimize incidents of stigmatization against COVID-19 recovered persons, frontline workers and their family members.
The virtual training is one of the many education efforts being undertaken by the COVID-19 Private Sector Fund as part of its anti-stigmatization awareness campaign dubbed, ‘Let Love Lead. End The Stigma’.
The ‘Let Love Lead. End The Stigma’ campaign seeks to change people’s mindset about COVID-19 and debunk myths and misconceptions about recovered persons, frontline workers and their families. It also aims to reduce fear, communicate support for frontline workers and encourage everyone to play their role in the fight against stigmatization.
Security personnel from the Police, National Security, Military, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), Prison Service and the Immigration Service were educated on the general knowledge on COVID-19 related psycho-social challenges, the most appropriate way of educating Ghanaians, the psychological first aid in a COVID-19 era and the myths around COVID-19 recoveries.
Dr. Collins Badu Agyemang, Training & Research Coordinator, Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Anti-Stigma Project Committee stated that, “the security force is an indispensable group in the fight against COVID-19 and the incidents of stigmatization. Hence, the need to train these personnel who will sensitize the communities on the devastating effects of stigmatization on recovered persons and their families.”
Our efforts in educating the public on stigmatization against COVID-19 recovered persons and their families will be futile if we exclude the security force, he added.
According to Dr. Agyemang, “management of organizations must go beyond creating warehouses of PPEs, they need to adjust their way of doing things, provide psychological fortification of all staff through interventions, need to do critical audit and assessment and make HR re-placement decisions, need to see the link between staff data [including medical] and decision making, reintegration of recovered ones and isolated ones to work.”
Some members of the security force who participated in the training expressed satisfaction at the new information that they received from the training programme. COP Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, Director of Welfare of the Ghana Police Service, added that, the training was very useful since lots of misconceptions about COVID-19 were demystified by the training.
According to COP Addo-Danquah, “I wrongly assumed everyone has the right information about COVID-19 but the training exposed our ignorance and armed us with lots of information to help us fight the stigma. She further noted that “we want the training to cover more Police Officers in order to help us effectively fight the stigma.”
The virtual training saw a total of one hundred and twenty-eight (128) police officers, one hundred (100) military personnel, sixteen (16) immigration officers and twenty (20) personnel each from the National Security and the BNI who were provided with the valuable information to educate Ghanaians across the country.
The campaign is an initiative of the COVID -19 Private Sector Fund, sponsored by the Ghana National Petroleum Authority (GNPC), with support from the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ghana Psychological Association (GPA), Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and Global Media Alliance