Superstitions fuel vaccine hesitancy in parts of Ghana
230,000 people have received vaccines in the Volta Region
GHS to conduct mandatory vaccination from January 2022
The Ghana Health Service has set January 2022 to roll out the mandatory vaccination of Ghanaians to curb the growing incidences of vaccine hesitancy currently happening in certain parts of the country.
In the Eastern and Volta regions, in particular, there have been reports of how scores of people have vowed not to take the vaccines for some reasons.
In some of the places, the residents have expressed fears their population sizes would decrease if they get vaccinated; they could vote for the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; that it is the mark of the devil or the 666; it could cause them infertility; that it causes them to fall very sick; among others.
The Deputy Director in charge of Public Health of the Volta Regional Ghana Health Service, Dr. Senanu Djokoto, have also stated that his outfit has been battling misinformation on the vaccination for the novel Coronavirus in the region.
He added that one of the problems has been a song that has gained popularity among people of the region.
The song, titled ‘Abi’, which is translated from Ewe as ‘injection’ and sang by JJ Gonami, Mawuli Younggod and Keeny Ice, posted on March 5, 2021, with over 33.2 thousand views on YouTube, seems to have been one of the driving forces in getting people to resist getting vaccinated.
“When I fall sick, it’s herbs that I use… I just hire lemons. Any sickness that comes, all I hire are weeds. Even when I am coughing, I only use ginger.
“[Chorus] I won’t take that injection (vaccination); I won’t take the injection 2x,” the first verse and chorus of the song say, as literally interpreted from Ewe.
But Dr. Djokoto says there seems to have been some miscommunication and they are working at it.
“It wasn’t meant to be against the vaccine, but it can be interpreted easily to be an anti-vaccination song,” he said.