Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority, would be among distinguished speakers at an online forum on Rumour Management as part of the closing Colloquium of the Ebola Vaccine Deployment, Acceptance and Compliance (EBODAC) project.
EBODAC is part of the Vaccine Confidence Project being undertaken by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Prof Alex Dodoo, who is an Associate Professor at the University of Ghana, would be discussing the 2015 Ghana Ebola rumours and put these within the current situation with COVID-19.
In February 2017, Prof Dodoo was part of the EBODAC symposium on Community Engagement, Communications and Technology in Ebola Clinical Trials, which discussed and developed options for community engagement and management of rumours and crisis during clinical trials.
Other members of the 2017 panel which was later broadcast on BBC included Professor Fred Wabwire-Mangen, Professor of Epidemiology and Head of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Makerere University, Uganda, Thomas Mooney EBOVAC Communications Manager, LSHTM, UK, and Umaru Fofana, CEO Free Media Group and BBC/Reuters Correspondent.
The EBODAC closing Colloquium which will be held virtually due to COVID-19 includes the following speakers namely Prof Robert Kanwagi, Program Director, World Vision Ireland; Dr Abu Baker Jalloh, Community engagement Facilitator- EBOVAC Salone-Kambia Sierra Leone and Dr Nnamdi Ezeanochie Behaviour Scientist, Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions.
Prof Dodoo, who was in the eye of the storm during the challenging Ebola Vaccine Trials rumours and suspension in Ghana, would highlight the importance of effective communication towards the promotion of public health and protection of citizens during pandemics.
He remarked that “rumours disrupt well-intentioned national programmes, damage reputations, waste time, create division, promote anxiety and negatively affect morale among citizens and patients. They must thus be managed appropriately”.