President of RAFELA-GHANA, the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa, Hajia Mariam Iddrisu

President of RAFELA-GHANA, the Network of Local Elected Women of Africa, Hajia Mariam Iddrisu in line with one of its four main campaigns championed by the network today Saturday, April 25, led her team to some satellite markets in the northern region to educate the market leaders on the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The group sensitized leaders of the Jisonayili market, Kalpohin market, Aboabo grains market and Sheshigu abattoir market on the signs and symptoms of the virus and some preventive measures outlined by healthcare experts and the World Health Organization to curtail the spread of the contagious disease in Ghana.

Hand washing facilities, Nose mask and sanitizers were among other personal protection equipment given to the women in the region.

The RAFELA Ghana working team

Hajia Mariam Iddrisu in an interview with Journalists highlighted the four main campaigns of the network.

They include, Africa without street children, Africa for zero tolerance of gender based violence, Africa favorable to the economic empowerment of women and Africa favorable to the participation of women in decision making processes, especially at the local government level and being implemented in Ghana as well.

The RAFELA-GHANA President who doubles as the Municipal Chief Executive for Sagnarigu noted the gesture to the market women falls in line with the campaign for Ghana favorable to the economic empowerment of women in the wake of the global pandemic.

“The local women are here in the market to undertake economic activities to empower themselves economically but they still need to have adequate information about COVID-19 and how to protect themselves” she explained.

Some of the market women at the Jisonayili satellite market in the Sagnarigu municipality of the northern region

She added, “So we are here to educate and sensitize the market women with some little donation that as a team we have gathered to support in the fight against the deadly coronavirus in the area.”

The team urged the women to adhere to the safety practices and frequently wash their hands with soap under running water after coming into contact with people or any item or object. 

They stressed hand washing is the basic preventive measure one can do. However, she lamented of lack of adequate resources and called for support from Civil Society Organizations in the country. She stated this would enable the network to extend its support and campaign to other regions of the country.

“We actually wrote proposals to organizations that work in women empowerment but so far we haven’t had any support from any of these organizations but we thought we couldn’t wait until we get positive response from these institutions, so we pulled our personal resources together to start this” she explained.   

The team also interacted with caretakers and children at the Nyohini Children’s home about the viral disease and donated some PPEs to the facility.

The group also handed over learning materials including books, pencils, pens, writing boards and crayons among others to the children.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus pandemic in the northern region stands at 22. This is after nine new cases were confirmed involving head porters who traveled from Accra into the region.