Ambassador Bishop Samuel Ben Owusu is strongly appealing to the Government of Ghana to establish a Public Health and Safety Authority (PHSA); which he suggests would support the nation’s efforts in implementing stronger public health and safety for its people. The PHSA would help regulate interventions, enhance clinical training and management, and build new laboratory capacity. These efforts would ensure surveillance on cases and contact tracing information, provide efforts on infection control and community engagement, and provide food supply and hunger management in critical situations such as we are facing with Covid-19.
Amb. Bishop Owusu is encouraged by the responses he is receiving from civil society, traditional leaders, religious organizations, private and public institutions to help curb the spread of this pandemic. He is however of the opinion that as a nation it is important that we do not take anything for granted as our health system may not be able to contain further escalation of the virus. He is encouraging the Government to remain in the forefront and provide accurate education and information through our social and mass media transmissions; this would give the people access on how to combat and protect themselves against the virus spread.
Amb. Bishop Owusu is also calling on the government to begin implementing stimulus packages which would include the reduction on the communication taxes and to encourage both private and public telecommunication companies to reduce cost of calls / data by 50 %. This would help the people remain in contact as information is being disseminated.
The Ambassador is also calling on the government to take steps to help reduce food prices by releasing stocked up food onto the market. Provision of boreholes in deprived and densely populated communities across the country should be urgently considered by government, churches and religious organizations, district assemblies, and wealthy public-spirited individuals. This would ensure that as the government is shutting down churches and work, and even schools, the people would not be burned by rising cost of food; as they would be able to sustain its cost.
Most importantly, the main strength of this virus is the country’s inability to test and be aware of its spread; hence, the Ambassador is appealing to the government, to provide all necessary support needed by our health care sectors across the board to ensure that they are prepared to test the people and to provide adequate medical attention to those who need it. Certainly, inadequate testing, our poor and failing health systems, shortages of health care supplies including mask, gloves, and beds, to name a few, would in fact propel this country into a more dire situation if we are not prepared; hence Amb. Owusu, is urging the government to provide the support needed for our health care workers to be equipped for the worse case scenario and if need be a lockdown of the entire nation to avoid emergency situation.
He is calling on all Ghanaians to take adequate precaution for their own safety, and to join the campaign of UN End Covid -19 now.
Bishop Samuel Ben Owusu
UN Peace Ambassador,
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