The Conference of Major Superiors of Religious in Ghana has launched a project aimed at reducing the impact of the Coronavirus on the people and activities in Ghana.
The project which was outdoored at a ceremony held at ‘Adom Fie’ in the Catholic Archdiocese of Kumasi, on the theme, “Religious in Ghana Strengthening Covid19 Response”
The initiative which is sponsored by the Hilton Foundation follows earlier initiatives and the fear expressed by the public around safety, side effect and usefulness of vaccines based on misinformation, lack of trust in the government or the scientific establishment or sheer ignorance.
For a period of eight months, the Conference, as part of its pastoral concern and responsibilities will ensure that vaccine reaches and is accepted by everyone especially those on the margins of society who do not have the right to information and that there is an equitable and effective covid distribution with the country.
The project will ensure the following:
1. Comprehensive Vaccination Education and advocacy in partnership with private and governmental organizations.
2. Advocate equitable vaccine distribution within the country.
3. Key stakeholders’ engagement to address emerging issues impeding vaccine confidence, access, and uptake consistent, and factual communication strategies and campaigns using the Vatican toolkit to combat misinformation and disinformation related to COVID-19 to ensure accurate information is distributed about lifesaving vaccines.
4. Distribution of PPE’S to selected Health Centers in Vulnerable communities
Psychosocial support and training for selected health workers.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, President of the Conference, Sisters, Mercy Boateng opined that the pandemic ignited the spirit of creativity in religious men and women who had to look for ways to help prevent its spread and more destruction.
“Discerning the subtle gem of God’s message behind this global phenomenon, we as religious men and women were forced to pause, rethink, and be more creative in expressing our charisms today in the face of the pandemic,” she said.
She added that “Last year women religious in Ghana who hold a unique position in communities they serve – as trusted, beloved, human-centred and critical providers- collaborated with the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious with financial support from Conrad Hilton Foundation to make various Covid -19 Response Interventions.”
She averred that many consecrated persons went out to distribute food packs to street dwellers especially during the lockdown, gave stipend support to groups who have lost income due to Covid-19, trained healthcare workers in the use of PPE’S and handling of covid patients in selected health sectors, undertook covid prevention education through the distribution of flyers and radio programme as well as distributed PPE’S in selected health centers among other initiatives.
For his part, the Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana, (CHAG), Dr. Peter K. Yeboah noted that religious men and women in Ghana played and continue to play a significant frontline role at case management centres across the country.
“Indeed, of the 40 CHAG Health Facilities repurposed for COVID response actions, the Catholic Church-owned or operated, and continue to manage over 50% of all COVID cases recorded, amidst the continuity of essential routine healthcare services. And most of these designated facilities serving as frontline Case Management Centres were, and being still, handled by Religious Sisters and Brothers,” he said.
The event was attended by the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Most Rev. Henrynk. M. Jagodzinski, the Archbishop of the Kumasi Archdiocese, Most Rev. Gabriel Justice Anokye, Director of Health at the National Catholic Secretariat and the National Catholic Health Service, Lawyer George Adjei, Director of Public Health-Ghana Health Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, The Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) Dr. Peter K. Yeboah who gave Keynote Address as well as the Representative of Ashanti Regional Director of Health.
The Conference of Major Superiors of Religious, Ghana made up of men and women leaders of the Catholic Religious Congregations in Ghana was established on August 23, 2013 when Rome recognized the group as a body in the church in Ghana.
The Conference composed of about seventy (70) members of both religious men and women is aimed at promoting deeper collaboration between the leaders of the congregations in Ghana.