The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) would like to bring to the attention of staff, partners and the general public, key measures it is putting in place to support global efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. This follows the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic and recent measures taken by the Government of Ghana to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The precautionary measures being/to be undertaken by the Institute are as follows:
- All programmes and meetings that require physical contact or engagement have been suspended for the next eight weeks. This took effect from Monday 16 March and will stay as such until Friday 1 May 2020. The scheduled trainings on Local Fundraising and Mobilising Support Training for civil society organisations in the northern regions of Ghana that were to run from Monday 16 March to Friday 20 March and Monday 23 March to Friday 27 March respectively in Tamale, Ghana have therefore been suspended. The next dates will be communicated to and agreed with the organisations involved.
- WACSI’s online courses planned for the period continue as scheduled and staff will participate in meetings with other organisations using online tools.
- Staff will work virtually from home from Thursday 19 March 2020. Work will resume in the office, where conditions permit, on Monday, April 6. The offices will remain closed during this period. For any general enquiries, the public is advised to contact the Institute by email via firstname.lastname@example.org
WACSI assures its partners that it will observe the situation closely and continue to serve civil society in West Africa, in the best way possible, within the current context. Relevant partners will be engaged on the way forward for programmes and activities that may be affected during this period.
Staff and partners are further encouraged to strictly adhere to the following personal hygiene standards as measures recommended by the WHO to minimise possible infection by the virus:
- Wash hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and clean running water. Also rub hands regularly with alcohol-based hand sanitiser to keep them free from any germs and the virus.
- Keep distances of at least 1 metre (3 feet) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid shaking hands, hugging and very close contact with others.
- Avoid using hands to touch mouth, eyes and nose. The hands easily pick up germs from different surfaces which can easily contaminate the eyes, nose or mouth with the virus.
- Make sure you and the people around you follow appropriate respiratory hygiene by covering mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing and dispose tissue appropriately after its use.
- If you feel unwell and detect any symptoms of a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
Staff and partners of WACSI will be updated on subsequent decisions that will be taken after the stated periods within this memo, as the situation is monitored. Additionally, up-to-date information on developments related to COVID-19 in Ghana as well as relevant travel advisory information can be accessed from the COVID-19 information portal managed by the Ghana Health Service.
We commend the Government of Ghana, WHO and other related institutions for the efforts put in place to inform and educate the public on the prevailing situation.
All staff and partners are assured of the Institute’s commitment to guarantee the wellbeing of its staff while ensuring that it delivers on its mission. We are all encouraged to stay resolute, void of fear and panic as the relevant agencies continue to work assiduously to put the situation under satisfactory control.