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Care Malawi Intensifies COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign in Mj

Gremu Gremu - pic by Hastings Jimani

Amid low uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in Mulanje, Care Malawi International has rolled out COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the district through community engagements.

The activity is part of ECHO-COVID-19 vaccine rollout project.

Project Manager Chimwemwe Gremu said the intervention is about creating demand for COVID-19 vaccines through engagement of traditional leaders, the faith community, youths and other community structures in spelling out myths surrounding COVID-19 vaccines.

Gremu said the project is using two tools; Social Mobilization Action for COVID-19 (SMAC) and Community Score Card to establish challenges that are contributing to the low vaccine uptake.

“We believe the two approaches will help contribute to the increase of vaccine uptake in Mulanje and even in Malawi,” said Gremu.

He said the project is a continuation of ECHO-COVID-19 project which basically focused on prevention and ended in June this year.

Chairperson of a network of Civil Society Organizations in Mulanje Saiti Chikwapulo commended Care Malawi International for coming again with a COVID-19 project with a focus on vaccines mobilization campaign.

“We still have pockets of hesitancy in uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and we need different interventions to win the fight against fake news on both the disease and the vaccines,” said Chikwapulo.

Meanwhile, Village Headman Namunda of Traditional Authority Mabuka in Mulanje district has accused the District Health Office of delayed training of community COVID-19 community management committees saying they do not have capacity to implement any COVID-19 activity including mobilizing people to access COVID-19 vaccines.

“Last year, officials from the DHO advised us to establish community COVID-19 management committees which we did and they promised to train them but to date none has been committed as such they are just idle doing nothing,” said VH Namunda.

He was speaking on Wednesday during an interface meeting between the community and officials from the district council.

In response, the District Hospital Administrator Mr. Felix Monia said currently the community can be using Health Centre Advisory Committees and Village Health Committees in COVID-19 management activities.

Currently, around 10, 000 people in Mulanje have been fully vaccinated out of the targeted 400, 000 people.   

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