The Mastercard Foundation, in partnership with Strategic Communication Africa (Stratcomm), has called for immediate reinforcement of the COVID-19 protocols and safety measures to prevent the occurrence of another spike.
According to these institutions, it is important for the state to take a cue from the fourth and fifth waves of COVID-19 experienced by some countries globally, because they reduced the seriousness attached to measures put in place to address the pandemic and intensify the protocols to avert same.
The two institutions, in a campaign dubbed ‘It’s up to us’, indicated the need to bring back safety measures such as wearing nose masks, hand-sanitising, and regular handwashing among others.
They reiterated that even though the infection rate in the country is currently low, with just a few critical cases, we are not completely out of the woods – hence the need for continuous capacity building and community sensitisation.
Speaking on behalf of Mastercard Foundation, partner of Stratcomm, Myra Ankrah emphasised that the two astute brands believe communication is a critical tool for national development and livelihood enhancement.
“When we look at our environment today, we realise many people have dropped the ball – they neither wear the facemasks nor sanitise their hands regularly as it used to be. This campaign is to enable us interact with people and get them to change,” she said.
She added that youth are at the heart of Mastercard Foundation interventions, and in 2020 when the world faced the COVID-19 pandemic the Foundation began to partner the local creative industry to run digital campaigns across social media to sensitise and encourage Ghanaians to observe and take up positive COVID-19 protocols; but since the interest has dropped, it is reinforcing the initiative.
Speaking with the press during a community engagement in Tema Newtown, popular actress and ambassador for the campaign Joslyn Dumas commended Mastercard Foundation and Stratcomm Africa for the initiative, and urged the public to seriously comply with the preventive protocols.
“We were quite serious as a people last year at the height of this COVID-19 pandemic, but I felt like this year all of us have dropped the ball when it comes to the preventive measures. So, this campaign under the theme ‘It is up to us’ is very important as we have to look out for each other. We public figures also have a role to play in this, because when people listen to us and see us doing it they tend to associate and believe it more,” she said.
Mastercard Foundation, Stratcomm Africa and the local creative industry are working together to drive the message of preventive care for families, communities and individuals in a compelling and fun way. This campaign, which started in Agbogbloshie and continued to Tema Newtown, is expected to reach different communities across the country – especially youth and market women, with a target of reaching about 3,000 by end of year.