Combatting stigma essential in fight against Covid-19

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The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has advised against stigmatization of patients who have been diagnosed of Coronavirus and those that have recovered and reunited with their families.

This comes after reports that recovered patients and their families were being stigmatized in their communities, a situation, the Minister described as worrying and challenging to government’s efforts in the fight against the virus and it’s impacts the country.

“Stigma has become one of the challenges that we very quickly need to combat,” he noted.

Fredrick Drah, a married man with four children and a survivor of COVID-19 who recounted his experience during a press conference by the Ministry of Information on Thursday, April 16, said he fell ill on March 17 and decided to get tested for COVID-19 which came back positive.

Mr. Drah was taken to a specialised facility in Accra to receive medical care till he recovered and was discharged.

However, Mr Drah revealed that returning home has been painful and full of mixed-feelings as according to him, he and his family have been stigmatised by neighbours in their community.

“Whenever my wife goes out to buy something from the stores around us, the stores refuse to sell to them. In some circumstances, even though they have  the particular item, they will not sell it with the excuse they don’t have it,” Mr Drah said.

He added that children in their neighbourhood have also refused to associate themselves with his children even though every member of his family tested negative.

Like Mr. Drah, the Information Minister pleaded with Ghanaians to desist from stigmatising people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

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