As part of activities lined up in the campaign against COVID 19 in zongo communities, the Zongo Girls for Education, in collaboration with the Zongo Development Fund held a two-day intensive sensitization and public health education in some areas in Kumasi.
The programme was held from 16th to 20th th May,2020 and covered zongo communities including Aboabo, Asawasi, Sawaba, Adukrom, Tafo and Suame.
The team had the privilege of meeting the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Abdul Mumin Harun. They had a fruitful discourse, emphasizing on ways the zongo community could mobilize themselves as a community, whiles observing all safety protocols, to end COVID 19 in Ghana.
It was encouraging to know that most of the people had heard about COVID 19 but a quick assessment of their knowledge and awareness gave an impression that there was still the need to intensify public education.
A recent concern is with issues of stigmatization which needs to be highlighted and especially communicated to the people to prevent mental health problems, particularly depression and its associated suicide.
A ten-member volunteering group was involved in pasting behavioral change communication materials at vantage points within the communities for people to be informed and reminded on the safety precautions.
The team also used the platform to educate the people on the infection, prevention and control protocols of COVID 19, while allaying their fears and debunking myths and rumors surrounding the disease. The group also demonstrated the correct use of the nose mask and alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
As a means of supporting the community, the team distributed a total of 300 hand sanitizers and 100 nose masks, as well as some other relief items to help families in the ongoing fast of Ramadan.
The zongo against covid-19 campaign was launched in March, 2020 and has been scheduled to last for three months. So far, Zonged-GH, with support from the Zongo development fund (ZODF) which is headed by Mr. Arafat Sulemana Abdulai has covered a series of community and media engagements including radio and television programmes in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.
They have been sharing up-to-date information on their social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook) to keep people abreast with the changing dimensions of COVID 19, how to live safely and cope within the crisis.
The organization has set out to use every means within their capacity to equip the zongo community with the knowledge and materials to help them fight COVID 19 and make zongos safer and healthier for all.
This campaign, is part of the larger fight against Covid 19 rolled out by the government of Ghana. Since the onset of this pandemic, government has given special focus to Zongo communities due to the peculiar nature of these areas.
Through the leadership of the Ministry for Zongo and Inner cities, with support from the Zongo Development Fund, this campaign so far has reached a significant number of Zongo communities in Ghana and hope to reach more in the coming weeks.
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The feedback from the communities has demonstrated the importance of public health education in the Zongos thus the campaign envisions a total behavioral change for people in the Zongo communities so that even after the pandemic, people will live healthier and safer lives and change the narratives in Zongo communities.