health

Aug. 22, 2022

OWN CORRESPONDENT

3 min read

Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative starts implementation in Lesotho

Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative starts implementation in Lesotho

The Minister of Health, Semano Sekatle

Story highlights

  • Drive comes when only 55% of adult population is fully vaccinated
  • Programme targets to strengthen 22 COVID-19 vaccination centres countrywide

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THE Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has commenced the in-country implementation of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in Lesotho to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination.

The vaccination drive is coming at a time when the country only has 55% of the adult population fully vaccinated.

In this current support, the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative and the Ministry of Health have planned a target to strengthen 22 COVID-19 vaccination centres and vaccinating more than 270 000 people within 12 months in the selected sites.

In his launching address, the Minister of Health, Semano Sekatle thanked the Africa CDC and its Implementing Partners for the successful kick-off as it marked a turning point in demand generation for COVID-19 vaccination uptake. He said that came at a time when the confidence in COVID-19 vaccination, and thus its demand, had declined.

Mr Sekatle called on the Africa CDC and the Implementing Partners to work together in order to achieve the collectively desired objectives. He concluded by declaring the launching of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods programme Implementation in Lesotho.

For his part, the Coordinator of the Africa CDC Southern Africa Regional Coordinating Centre, Dr Lul Pout Riek said the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative would include a strong focus on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) to enable Lesotho citizens, particularly young people and rural populations, to understand the safety and benefits of vaccination.

“Africa CDC is very honoured today to launch the country implementation of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, to support the Government of Lesotho in vaccinating its population. COVID-19 vaccines remain a critical tool in reducing transmission and ultimately returning the economies of Africa to normal. We recognising that the only way to end the pandemic and safeguard lives and livelihoods on the continent is to immunise a critical mass of the African population rapidly,” he said.

He further stated that RCCE would play a crucial role in creating demand for uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations and supporting other non-pharmaceutical efforts to break the transmission chain and mitigate the pandemic’s impact.

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The Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative is a $1.5bn partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and launched in June 2021 to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for at least 65 million people and support the delivery to millions across the continent.  

A total of $807,067 of the fund has been provided to kickstart the first year of implementation in Lesotho.

The initiative will synergize the efforts of the Government, Africa CDC, and other partners in increasing COVID-19 vaccine uptake. The implementation of the programme will focus on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and vaccine capacity to enable Lesotho to reach its COVID-19 vaccination target.

The ultimate goal of Africa CDC through the Saving Lives and Livelihoods programme is to accelerate 70% vaccine coverage of the African population by the end of 2022. - Africa CDC

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