, 23 June, 2020 / 7:00 PM
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has expressed his appreciation for members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) and other Church institutions for offering their facilities to be used as COVID-19 isolation and treatment centers across the West African country.
“I thank the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) for their admirable, civic gesture of making available their facility in Ejisu in the Ashanti Region; and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for agreeing to the use of their facilities across the country as isolation centers in the fight against COVID-19,” President Akufo-Addo said Sunday, June 21.
“These are timely offers, which will ensure that our overall healthcare systems are not unduly burdened and overrun,” the Ghanaian Head of State said during his 12th National Address on COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Following a request from the country’s government, GCBC members, at the beginning of June, offered 13 facilities across the West African nation to be used as COVID-19 isolation centers.
“The Catholic Church in Ghana has agreed to the request and is willing to offer the government our facilities in the various regions for use as isolation centers as our humble contribution to the national fight,” GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh said while offering the facilities.
The Ghanaian Prelate added, “As a Church at the national and diocesan levels, we remain committed to (assisting) the government in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In his televised address, President Akufo-Addo stated, “Such institutions deserve the sincere appreciation of the entire nation, as does the gesture of the Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, who has offered his 70-bed hospital in Toase, in the Ashanti Region, as a COVID-19 treatment center.”
As of Tuesday, June 23, the West African nation COVID-19 confirmed cases were 14,154 with 10,907 recoveries and 85 fatalities.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo also noted that stigmatization of COVID-19 patients makes the fight against the pandemic difficult.
“This increased number of persons being discharged from our isolation and treatment centers brings in its wake yet another issue that we have to deal with – stigmatization,” the President said.
“It is obvious that stigmatization is adding further dimensions to the already difficult problem of the pandemic,” he further said and added, “Part of the reason for the spread of the virus is the reluctance of some persons to admit they have tested positive and go into quarantine for fear of being stigmatized and in the process, continue to be agents of the spread of the virus.”
He assured Ghanaians that “persons who test positive for the virus, once they recover, do not pose any danger whatsoever to anyone, because the scientists tell us that they can no longer spread the virus.”
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa