The Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has advised schoolchildren to think of the risks they will expose their parents, other family members, schoolmates, friends, and teachers to when they do not wear the face masks.
He said if at any time they decided not to wear the masks, they should not forget that, apart from the possibility of getting infected, they also put their loved ones at risks.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said he was sure that the children did not want to get infected and would also not like anything to happen to their siblings, parents, friends or teachers because they failed to follow the safety and personal hygiene and protocols.
Masks not for chin
The Asantehene gave the advice through his Hiahene, Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II, who is also the Board Chairman of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation, during an interview with the Junior Graphic on the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for all to follow the safety protocols and social distancing.
He, therefore, urged children to wear the face masks, and said ”the masks were for our faces and not the chin, so don’t put them on your chin”.
The interview coincides with a special project being implemented by the Asantehene, through the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation, known as ‘Hy3 Ma Me’ to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asanteman and Ghana in general.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II urged schoolchildren to wear the masks properly and dispose them off if they were the disposable type and added that if they were made from cloth and, therefore, reusable, then they should wash them regularly.
The Asantehene stressed the importance for the schoolchildren to wash their hands regularly with soap under running water and not stagnant water for at least 20 seconds.
He said it was important for children to desist from the habit of touching their faces and eyes, especially when they had not washed their hands, because they were not sure of what they might have touched.
Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II, Otumfuo's Hiahene
Otumfuo noted that some people could be infected but would not be sick or show any signs, and said it was important that if anyone felt sick, the person sought attention immediately.
He asked teachers and parents to wear the face masks themselves, as a way of encouraging children to wear the mask.
The Asantehene observed that the virus was tricky and all of us, including children, needed not put ourselves at risk.
“The simplest, safest and effective way to protect ourselves is to wear the masks,” he noted, adding that once they wore the masks, they would be sure of protecting themselves and others from the virus.
He reminded the children of the effect the pandemic had had on countries all over the world and said, luckily for Ghana, the government had put in place very effective measures.
“The COVID-19 is a pandemic, over here it’s not been that catastrophic, we’ve managed to keep the economy moving and the situation will still improve if we all follow the health and safety advice,” he said.
Hy3 Ma Me
He said he was committed to the fight against COVID-19 and had, through his Foundation, implemented a number of interventions targeted at ensuring that people adhered to COVID-19 safety protocols to guarantee their safety and that of their families, loved ones, neighbours and communities.
He said the first intervention known as Project One, dubbed ‘Hy3 Ma Me’ was the ‘King’s Appeal’.
It was one such initiative aimed at lending intensified support to the advocacy of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 within the Asante Kingdom and Ghana, through intensified education and advocacy on the need to observe the various safety protocols and through the distribution of some personal protective equipment (PPE).
“It also seeks to ensure people receive accurate information on the realities of COVID-19 and its safety protocols to curb its spread,” he said.
The second intervention, Project Two, is the Hygiene and Social Distancing Project aimed at providing a safe environment free from the threat of COVID-19 for traders to trade.