The Keta Directorate of the National Commission for Civic (NCCE) has taken its public education campaign to worshippers in some traditional shrines, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the COVID-19 protocols.
The adherents are usually engaged with routine drumming, dancing and ritual performances without adhering to COVID-19 preventive protocols of wearing of nose masks, social distancing and handwashing with soap under running water.
The NCCE observed that, normally adherents’ troop to the shrine which they believed offers opportunity to seek for traditional justice, prosperity, and other societal needs but without observing any of the COVID-19 preventive protocols.
Officials of the NCCE in their desire to leave no one behind in the quest to educate the public about the dangers of not adhering to COVID-19 protocols had to obey etiquettes for entering the shrine; which includes removing ones sandals or shoes, and not covering the upper portion of the body just above the breast.
Madam Agartha Fiakofi, the NCCE Assistant Civic Education Officer, who led the team after conforming to the shrine etiquettes, educated the over 100 adherents and observers who had congregated on the World Health Organisation and Ghana Health Service COVID-19 preventive protocols.
“We observed that over 100 devotees with scores of spectators were drumming and dancing and performing rituals without any face masks or any adherence to safety protocols especially social distancing, so we sought for permission to engage them.
“To allow us to educate the gathering, we had to take off or expose the upper portion of the body just above breast and remove our footwears. Consumed with the passion to get COVID-19 education to all, we obeyed went through that experience just to educate them,” Madam Fiakofi stated.
The NCCE Civic Educator advised the people not to allow their traditional beliefs to overcrowd their judgement on health issues, especially COVID-19, “so as soon as you notice any of the COVID-19 symptoms you must seek for medical attention”.
She also spoke about stigmatization and its dire consequences, one of which is persons who show signs of infection refuse to call or seek medical attention, and are likely to infect and cause the death of several people.