The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, and his three deputies, have donated 50 percent of their salaries for three months, and a cash amount of GH₵ 200,000 to support the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
In addition, Mr. Aidoo on behalf of COCOBOD presented 5000 gallons of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, 10,000 pieces of liquid handwashing soap worth some GH₵ 100,000, and 5000 cartons of natural unsweetened cocoa powder for frontline COVID-19 workers and patients under quarantine.
In presenting the funds and items to the Ministry of Health, the COCOBOD Boss said the presentation is in support of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of the disease before it overwhelms the health system.
The cocoa powder, Mr. Aidoo said, is intended to help strengthen the immune systems of the frontline workers, which is the only true defence that we all have against this pandemic.
He explained that “day in and day out, we have a lot of free radicals being developed in our bodies, and for us to get strong, we need antioxidants, which are in certain foods including cocoa”.
“Cocoa has the highest amount of antioxidants. So, we found it imperative that the frontline staff, because they are all at risk, need to enhance their immune systems. Therefore, we are presenting this to the ministry and to the frontline staff and to all those confirmed to have gotten COVID-19,” he said.
Receiving the items on behalf of the Ministry of Health, the sector Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, thanked COCOBOD for making the presentation, and for thinking about the health workers and the patients.
“You have demonstrated massive goodwill towards supporting the efforts of the government to help protect our citizens. You have my assurance that all the items that you have given us, will go to the places where they should go,” the Minister pledged.
“The funds will be transmitted to the COVID-19 fund which the president has set up to help in the present response efforts and the aftermath of the pandemic.”
Mr Agyemang-Manu took the opportunity to ask the general public to observe the lockdown in the national capital and other cities to prevent new infections.
“There is no point leaving Accra or Kumasi to go to your village because in doing so, you are helping spread the disease. What the scientists tell us is that, if we are able to break the chain of spread, we would have solved our problem. So, if you know somebody who is planning to go to his hometown ask that person to stay”
“So far, we are not getting many deaths from the disease in our country. The five deaths we have recorded were all caused by co-morbidities; underlying sicknesses that these people had even before they tested positive for COVID-19. Also, 31 people have been treated and discharged. That means that there is hope for us …so let us continue to educate ourselves about the disease and stay where we are, the Minister appealed.