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Dr. Wiafe Akenten Brenya of the Ghana Psychological Association has said that the impact of social stigma on patients who have fully recovered and reverted to negative status for the COVID-19 is equally harmful and abusive as the virus.

Stigma can undermine social cohesion and prompt possible social isolation of groups, which might contribute to a situation where the virus is more, not less, likely to spread.

This can result in more severe difficulties controlling a disease outbreak.

Dr Brenya,addressing the public on stigmatization at the press briefing by the Ghana Health Service indicated that a section of the public have put certain interpretations into the virus, hence the stigma.

He said that the confusion, anxiety and fear among the public are some of the factors fueling harmful stereotypes.

''Stigma can apply to everyone depending on your society, your age group, a sub-culture what is perceived as right or wrong''

''The other angle is also illness .... and the unfortunate and ironic thing about this is that in our[Ghana] culture,under no circumstance are we allowed these people sickness or illness either congenital or by lifestyle against them in anyway''

''In the past there have been people who are physical,mentally or psychologically challenged...  HIV AIDS has the same thing and now the specific thing is on COVID-19''

''The medical people will tell us it is novel (not much is known about it) so much people set in interpretations with conceptions and believes of it as a curse or certain lifestyle''

''The other angle is the fear associated with the virus....that there is a possibility that if I get in contact with the person I may also get it''

''The stigma does not affect only the person who has tested positive or under quarantine but other people around him ;family , friends ,co-workers because stigma is also contagious''

silveronline24 / silverFM / Ghana

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 20 May 2020

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