The President of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo has expressed worry over conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccines that seek to discourage Ghanaians from going for the vaccination.
To her, nurses and many health workers have put their lives on the line treating COVID-19 patients and that it will be considerate on the part of the public to support the efforts of healthcare workers by going for the COVID-19 vaccination in order to help reduce the spread of the disease.
“We are troubled that people are not willing to take the vaccines because of the conspiracy theories,” she said, stressing "You should be the first to run to get the vaccine."
Mrs Ofori-Ampofo was speaking at an event organised by Alliance of Feminists CSOs in collaboration with Plan International Ghana to mark this year’s International Women’s Day in Accra on Monday, March 8, 2021.
The event, which was on the theme: “Women in Leadership. Achieving Equal Future in a COVID-19 World," brought together leaders and members of civil society organisations, international organisations, feminists, politicians and leaders of state owned institutions and politically inclined young females, journalists and students.
The programme was also used to deliberate and propose strategies to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on women and children especially on girls in Ghana.
IWD is a day set aside globally to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. More importantly, the day is used to celebrate women's achievements, raise awareness about women's equality, and lobby for accelerated gender parity among others.
Mrs Ofori-Ampofo said many healthcare workers have lost their lives as a result of caring for COVID-19 patients, saying "We even lost a nurse who was pregnant."
She noted that many nurses had gone through a lot since the pandemic, saying "it has not been easy; vaccination will be the way and it’s important we all get vaccinated."
She said whereas many workplaces provide working from home services, healthcare workers had no such opportunities and that they are physically required to be present at the healthcare facilities, making them vulnerable to the disease.
Mrs Ofori-Ampofo also called for investment in healthcare workers, particularly in the area of specialised training.
"We need to invest as a country in our health professionals, especially in specialty training," she said, noting that COVID-19 has made it clear that specialist healthcare professionals are needed most especially during pandemic.
"We need to build our healthcare infrastructure," she noted, urging African leaders, particularly the ECOWAS bloc to build the capacities of its scientists and researchers enable them to go into vaccine and other critical healthcare products development.
For Mrs Ofori-Ampofo, Africa as a continent spends huge sums of money annually importing vaccines from the other parts of the world.
The Alliance of Feminist CSOs is a political but non-partisan collection of passionate feminist organisations and individuals coming together to champion the inclusion and empowerment of women towards national development.