BudgIT Ghana’s COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP) has been making remarkable strides in its mission to combat the COVID-19 pandemic through awareness creation and citizen engagement.
The project, which focuses on promoting transparency, scrutinizing government expenditures, and advocating for vaccine equity, has entered the Ashanti Region with its Phase III campaign, aptly named “Get Vaccinated Now; SAVE ONE SAVE ALL.”
Through a series of dynamic and engaging activities, the project aims to dispel vaccine myths, provide accurate information, and emphasize the importance of vaccination for achieving herd immunity.
The Divine Mercy Hospital in Kumasi set the stage for a pivotal polyclinic town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 4, 2023, as BudgIT Ghana engaged with the local community to address concerns, misconceptions, and myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.
The event provided a platform for fruitful and productive discussions, involving over 30 participants from diverse backgrounds, including patients, community members, children, and medical staff.
The town hall meeting centered on educating the Kumasi community about the COVID-19 vaccine while highlighting Ghana’s longstanding history of embracing routine vaccination.
By dispelling misconceptions and emphasizing the significance of vaccination, BudgIT Ghana aimed to build trust and confidence in the ongoing vaccination efforts, ultimately working towards achieving herd immunity and safeguarding public health.
Speaking at the meeting, the Chief Administrator of the Divine Mercy Hospital, Madam Mary Antwi, said, “Our community did considerably well when the vaccination process started. Many patients and community members came to take the shot, whilst a number of them declined to do so for one reason or the other. Luckily for us, the vaccination officials did not come against bitter antagonism like we hear in other areas.
Those who came to vaccinate came readily and those who did not either communicated their reasons to the officials or just declined to take the shot.
“We need more of what BudgIT Ghana has done today not just in Atonsu, but in the entire country. Stakeholders need to come together to push the agenda stronger and longer till we see effects in the numbers.”
Engaging in interactive discussions, attendees actively participated by asking questions and sharing their concerns and experiences. Recognizing the value of personalized conversations, BudgIT Ghana conducted interviews with selected participants, gaining deeper insights into their specific concerns and tailoring responses accordingly, whilst also distributing materials such as posters, flyers etc to encourage community -wide engagement.
Through an enlightening radio discussion at Fox FM, the campaign leveraged local media platforms, extending its reach and creating awareness about the campaign and upcoming events.
The radio discussion served as a platform to address common concerns and misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine, further strengthening the community’s understanding of the importance of vaccination.
Ghana has made remarkable progress in its vaccination trajectory, recognizing it as a vital tool in protecting public health and achieving herd immunity.
BudgIT Ghana’s CTAP project has played a crucial role in promoting transparency and awareness surrounding COVID-19 vaccination efforts. By actively engaging with communities, dispelling myths, and addressing concerns, BudgIT Ghana is building trust and confidence in vaccination, ensuring that Ghanaians receive accurate information to make informed decisions about their health.
By empowering individuals with knowledge and dispelling myths,the organization is paving the way for a healthier future and a stronger collective defence against the COVID-19 pandemic and potential re-emergence of an outbreak.
Kwame Yeboah/Ashanti Region.