A Broadcast Journalist with the Multimedia Group, Latif Iddrisu has had his fair share of stigmatization after coming into close contact with a suspected COVID-19 patient.
In an interview on AbenaKwabena TV monitored by ABC News to share his story, the JoyNews journalist said he was stigmatized by co-workers at Multimedia as no one wanted to come close to him for fear of being infected.
Although he wore a PPE to interview the suspected COVID-19 patient at the isolation centre, he was told by his colleagues not to enter the Multimedia building.
Talking about how he has been affected personally, Latif Iddrisu narrated how right after the interview, “the stigma started right there…colleague journalists started stigmatizing against me.”
He continued, “Now when I got back to the office, I was asked not to enter the newsroom; not even the newsroom but was told not to enter the building. It was crazy, then I persisted and managed to get into the newsroom around 10 pm. The following day people were not expecting me to come to the office because I had exposed myself to someone who could test positive for COVID-19. It almost degenerated into something else because my senior colleagues were telling me to go back home…but I said I’m not moving an inch.”
According to him, the stigma he faced by his colleagues at work was hell for him and felt bad because no one wanted to get close to him.
He also disclosed how he nearly faced eviction from home for coming into close contact with the suspected COVID-19 person.
“Just as I ended the call with my senior colleague in the newsroom, my wife’s call also came through. What she told me was this, do not come home,” she said.
Latif Iddrisu, just like many others who have shared their experience in the country are trying hard to live their normal lives without being stigmatized.
According to UNICEF, stigmatization has been very prevalent during this COVID-19 era. When such persons return to their homes, they still experience loss of status because of real or perceived links with the disease.
Because of that, those who have been infected with the virus try to hide the infection for a long time for fear of being stigmatized when people know of it. Sometimes family members of infected persons are subjected to abuse.
An incident happened in the Upper East Region where a recovered COVID-19 patient’s eight-year-old daughter was pelted with stones by other children who accused her of spreading the virus in their community.
Watch Latif Iddrisu’s full interview on AbenaKwabena TV below