As part of efforts to combat the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), has appointed over 100 student volunteers to work as COVID-19 ambassadors.
The ambassadors have been introduced to the university community at a short ceremony on campus.
The peer health education initiative, known as ‘UPSA COVID-19 Ambassadors’, is designed to provide students with guidance on healthy behaviours and social norms related to COVID-19.
The student ambassadors, whose membership is made up of five students from each level/year group of each programme of the institution, will be provided with COVID-19 training and education to share with their friends in and out of campus.
They will also monitor the compliance of the COVID-19 safety protocols by the students and advise the authorities for remedial actions to be taken where necessary.
Information to be disseminated by the ambassadors include how to prevent and control COVID-19 infection through strategies like physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and proper disposal of used tissue papers.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, Professor Charles Barnor observed that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is a herculean task, which demands “all hands on deck.”
He noted that the growing number of students, staff and faculty and construction workers on the campus called for a deliberate action on the part of University Management to institute measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Prof. Barnor said the COVID-19 Ambassadors initiative was Management’s strategy to strengthen COVID-19 risk communication and engagement within the University community as the second wave of the highly contagious and dangerous virus claims more lives around the world.
He urged students, staff and faculty to abide by the COVID-19 safety protocols at all times.
“We cannot have a successful semester or academic calendar without getting the students involved in the strategies that we have designed to ensure the COVID-19 would not escalate on our campus,” the Pro-Vice Chancellor stated.
“Never take anybody around you for granted, see all persons around you as potential carriers [of COVID-19], so that you take the necessary measurements.”
Dr. Bernard Dornoo, the Director of Medical Services of the University cautioned against complacency on the part of persons who have not contracted the virus or people who have recovered from it, saying the little things that people ignore, could expose them to the virus and urged everyone to abide by the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Dr. Raymond Dziwornu, Dean of the Faculty of Accounting and Finance also added his voice to the calls for strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols. He said the COVID-19 pandemic was not likely to end soon and efforts should be made to stop the spread of the disease.
“Management of UPSA is doing all that it can to prevent the spread of the virus,” he said.
“We are trying our best to avoid recording any case on Campus. We have come out with certain scenarios and strategies to deal with it. Let us keep the fight against COVID-19, though it will be difficult a battle to fight, if we fight together, it is one we can win.”
Dr. Fidelis Quansah, Dean, Faculty of Management Studies, advised the COVID-19 Ambassadors to set good examples for those they were going to educate. She urged them to use decent language and a warm tone in their interactions with their fellow students.
Present at the ceremony were Dr. Edward Bannerman-Wood, Director , Academic Affairs; Mrs. Aba Lokko, Director of Public Affairs; Dr. Ibn Kailan Abdul-Hamid, Programmes’s Coordinatator as well as Prince Wade Nartey, Interim Chairman of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC).