Hope Abound for Women and Children organises COVID-19 Vaccine awareness for Kayayei Girls

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Hope Abound for Women and Children (HAWC), a feminist Non-Governmental Organization has organized COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Awareness sensitization for Kayayei Girls in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.

They brought together over 200 Kayayei girls educated them on the COVID-19 Vaccine, its importance, expected side effects and myths by health professionals.

The event was part of the organization’s efforts to educate them in the informal sector to mitigate the numerous effects of COVID-19 on women in the sector.

Ms Salma Shanni, Founder and Executive Director of HAWC said research has shown that the global pandemic affected and continued to affect women in extreme diverse ways and that there was a rise in domestic violence cases, more unpaid labour, loss of jobs amongst others .

She said the relevance of women in the frontline and essential services against the fight of COVID-19 was evident in the world and said Kayayei girls could be categorized as high risk essential service providers, adding that, “they are unfortunately exposed more to the virus as they live in packed rooms, work in crowded markets and sometimes cannot afford to follow the safety protocols prescribed by the World Health Organization because of poverty.

“Most of them are unable to afford nose masks and running water to wash their hands frequently as they should do, and for this reason, the organization found it necessary to organize this awareness session to encourage the girls to take advantage of the free vaccines being administered by the Ghana Health Service,” she added.

The Executive Director said Ghana was fortunate to be the first African country to receive the COVID-19 vaccines and had the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with other prominent leaders including the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu taking their shots on camera to encourage all citizens.

She said despite the efforts of the leaders, there were still many conspiracy theories and myths on the vaccine and therefore there was the need to demystify the myths and conspiracy theories.

“Aside the vaccine awareness and education, the girls were also taken through sessions on reproductive health education including safe sex, sexual transmitted diseases and also presented with souvenirs including sanitary towels, dental kit, soap, hand sanitizers and reusable nose masks”.

Madam Wendy Boatemaa Amanfo, a Midwife at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital took the participants through several topics of reproductive health and the COVID-19 safety measures and protocols and also emphasized the need for the girls to keep observing the protocols after taking the vaccine.

The event was hosted and supported by Madam Manna Ampomah, the Co-Founder of HAWC
The Kayayei girls asked questions on the vaccine, shared their fears and expressed their concerns, which were all addressed.

Hope Abound for Women and Children is a feminist organization committed to the fight for gender equality, income equality, human rights, shared domestic labour, female leadership, end to domestic violence and the dismantling of patriarchal narratives.

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