The government has commended JoyNews journalist Gary Al-Smith, for his continued efforts at public education during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ever since the first case in Ghana was announced, the sports journalist has been consistent in educating his large social media following on latest information and preventive protocols.
As fate would have it, however, Al-Smith would himself test positive in June. But rather than slow him down, the sports journalist carried the nation along his treatment process and subsequent discharge from the University of Ghana Medical Center UGMC).
On Tuesday, Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah recognised Al-Smith’s efforts at government’s Covid-19 Meet the Press briefing.
With government being asked to name all public officials currently suffering from the disease, Oppong Nkrumah noted that disclosing medical information remains a private matter, which the government can only encourage – but not force – its employees to do.
The nation’s attempts to battle Covid-19 have been severely hampered by the unwillingness of many in the general public to open about their status.
The situation has not been helped by public officials who have not been forthcoming, either. Gary’s openness about Covid-19 has widely been praised in recent weeks, with Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia telephoning to check on the Joy Sports Editor during his treatment at the UGMC.
Josephine Nkrumah, chairperson of the National Commission on Civic Education, has also noted on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that the sports journalist’s recent anti-stigmatization messages on TV, radio and social media have greatly helped her outfit in demystifying the disease.
The NCCE has since spoken to Al-Smith on working together to change behaviours toward the disease.