A non-governmental organisation, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) and its partners including the Ghana Red Cross Society, National Association of Persons Living with HIV (NAP+ Ghana) and Young Health Advocates has launched its COVID-19 Vaccine hesitancy project aimed at increasing the uptake of vaccines in Ghana.
The project, which has UNAIDS, Ghana Health Service and NAP as partners with support from the German Government, is also geared towards creating awareness on HIV/AIDS to meet the country’s targets.
Speaking at the launch, the Executive Director of HFFG, Cecilia Senior, said misinformation has heightened COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, leaving them vulnerable to the virus.
She said the project is critical to disabuse the minds of people, especially vulnerable groups, of the misconceptions about vaccines and get them to take the vaccines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“This project is special because it is targeting the people who ought to be protected, the vulnerable. We believe it will have a great impact. Our project will let people know that taking the vaccine will protect you and not kill you, as many have been misinformed to think. There is a lot of hesitancy due to misinformation, especially on the internet, but today the four organisations are launching this project to create awareness to support the country,” she said.
The Ghana Red Cross Society in a statement read on its behalf, said it was happy about the partnership and gave assurances that it will continue to support COVID-19 vaccination education efforts using its numerous volunteers across the country.
“This project is a critical and commendable one. We are active in all the regions in Ghana and have over 60,000 volunteers, so we are supporting with community engagements to ensure we promoted COVID vaccination. We can sure you that we will not stop with this partnership [even] when it ends on July,” he noted.
40 persons have been trained in the Ashanti Region and Greater Accra Region to serve as champions of the project by leading education in various community health centres, churches, markets, mosques, and other public spaces.
Kisses Johnson, a Program Officer at the health promotion department of the Ghana Health Service which is also supporting the project says given the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, all hands must be on deck to encourage the unvaccinated population to get vaccinated to at least prevent them from getting seriously sick if infected by the virus.
“The new COVID-19 cases must enhance conversations on the protocols and talk more about vaccination. The Ghana Health Service alone cannot do it all that is why we are going with a partnership approach,” he said.
The project is being funded by UNAIDS and the German Government.