The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has adopted a peer-to-peer strategy in the enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols.
This is to complement existing protocol enforcement mechanisms to improve on adherence.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra, the Leader of Risk Communication for COVID-19 Response, Dr. Dacosta Aboagye, said under the new strategy, the service sought to ensure that people imbibed the responsibility of first wearing the mask and insisting that their peers wore it as well.
Dr. Aboagye, who is also the Director of Health Promotion at the GHS, said both vendors and buyers must make sure that they wore face masks before engaging in any form of transaction.
“Don’t board any commercial vehicle if the driver and his assistant are not wearing face masks; the driver and his assistant must also demand same from passengers before they board the vehicle," he added.
Dr. Aboagye also explained that the strategy was to support the government effort at reducing the infection rate of COVID-19 in the country as figures of active cases and death rate were on the rise.
Dr. Aboagye further cautioned the people against getting weary of the protocols, saying that unless the nation fought the global pandemic by adhering to the safety protocols, the consequences could be dire.
“Hence the need for the peer-to-peer enforcement initiative to make the people know their responsibility in enhancing compliance.
“Although Ghana has in the past seen widespread adherence to the wearing of masks, washing of hands and social distancing and compliance of restrictions to keep people safe, there are worrying signs of people growing weary of the pandemic and relaxing adherence to the protocols,” he added.
According to the director, anecdotal evidence suggested that face mask wearing had dropped significantly to the lowest level since the pandemic broke out in the country last year.
Dr. Aboagye also said the Delta variant of COVID-19 was fast spreading in local communities and, therefore, reminded the public that “we are not in normal times”.
“In fact, some citizens are happy the government has allowed the performance of funerals in line with adherence to the protocols. With fatigue growing amid the third wave, it is a perfect time to renew public communication, build on the swell of supportive messages from politicians, celebrities and other people to correct misinformation that has crept into social media space,” he added.