Some residents of Yapei/Kusawgu in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region have been trained as ambassadors to influence the sensitisation campaign on Yellow Fever, Polio and Covid-19 vaccinations in their various areas.
The sensitisation campaign brought together some selected stakeholders in the area, including Chiefs, Imams, assembly members to deliberate on the need to effectively disseminate information geared towards enhancing awareness creation and participation in the vaccination exercises in the area.
It was also to train the ambassadors dubbed 'communities sensitisation campaign influencers' to help address some misconceptions about the treatment and spread of the viruses.
The event was organised by Bido Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and supported by the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The Programmes Manager for Bido, Ghana, Mr. Hamidu Fusheni, said his outfit through its partners, recognised the crucial role opinion leaders and other stakeholders played in addressing the spread of the viruses, hence the need to train them to spearhead the campaign on vaccination against the viruses.
He added that most of the community members largely depended on the opinion leaders in their area for credible information during the outbreak of the pandemic, thus the need to work with them as our community influencers to prudently address the myths and misinformation surrounding the viruses.
He announced that the sensitisation campaign is being implemented in eight sub districts out of the 12 sub-districts under the Yapei/Kusawgu area and the Tolon district in the Northern region.
He noted that Bido Ghana has targeted to train about 120 influencers in the two areas from April to mid-May, this year to help minimise the spread of the viruses.
A Physician Assistant at the Kusawgu Health Centre in Central Gonja District, Lalibe John Mbeibo said the training was necessary, adding that it would help augment the efforts of health workers in the area towards providing quality health care information to the residents on positive implications of vaccination.
"This training of opinion leaders is very necessary because, they live with the people, and it will be easy for the community members to listen to them than any other person", he said.
The assembly member for Tosinape Electoral Area in the Central Gonja District, Iddrisu Mubarak said the training was appropriate, saying it was time to take the campaign to the communities to ensure their safety and well-being were guaranteed.
He added that most of the cases recorded in the area could be attributed to inadequate information about the vaccines.
The chief of the nomadic community in the area, Alhaji Mumuni Mahamadu Suba commended BIDO Ghana and its partners for the initiative, saying, hitherto, most of the nomadic people in the area were not accessing the vaccines because it was alleged that without the Ghana card, one could not be vaccinated.
He said the training has brought some clarity to some myths and misconceptions about the vaccines and pledged to champion the campaign in order to minimize the rate of infections in the area.