Sep 6, 2021, 1:27 PM
The pandemic and other shocks have not only highlighted the relevance but also the bottlenecks and shortfalls in current national social protection crusade.
To stop the spread of COVID-19 by vaccination, experts say a vaccine should be taken by significant amount of the adult population. However, building trust in the safety and efficacy of globally approved vaccines is critical in any disease outbreak. This in no small measure contributes to the overall success of any vaccination campaign.
Fanna Maram Gaye is a social worker and for her, misinformation about the vaccine has compelled many to not take shots coupled with the disbelief of the existence of Covid-19.
“In my opinion there is need for more awareness raising programs most especially in rural areas where there is limited access to information.”
The community structures, she explained further, has a great role to play most especially opinion leaders like Akalolu, Imams and local groups etc.
“These are people who control the attitudes and behaviours of people in our communities. Thus, they can contribute by disseminating the right information. This can be done though collaboration with the Ministry of Health”
She therefore calls for an active community vaccination campaign, adding that globally, there is high misconception with regards to the vaccines.
Thus, she indicated that public health officers have a stake in creating awareness programmes to increase the understanding on the use of the vaccine.
“Always seek advice from a physician if you do not feel comfortable taking it. Work has been done but yet government, CSOS and other stakeholders should intensify their efforts in ensuring everyone is vaccinated. We must believe that Covid-19 is real and take the vaccines to minimise the risk involved and its spread.”
In his recent presentation on Child Sensitive Social Protection in The Gambia, Gordon Jonathan Lewis, UNICEF representative in The Gambia, acknowledged that vaccines are social protection measures.
He added that the fastest way for The Gambia to be able to recover itself from the impact of this pandemic is to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
The commitment and pledges of the international community, he said, would allow The Gambia by the middle of 2022 to be able to vaccinate close to 700,000 people of its population. This figure, he added, represents about 60% of the country’s target adult population.
“However, the country runs the risks of losing 170,000 doses of vaccines that are set to expire before the end of November 2021. Vaccines are in fact a mechanism to ensure social protection of the most vulnerable.”
He thus calls for the need for accelerated efforts for people to go out in their numbers to get vaccinated and reduce the country’s risk of losing this significantly amount of doses before 30th of November.
This story was produce with support from Journalist for Human Rights (JHR) through its Mobilizing Media in the fight against Covid-19 in partnership with Mai-Media and The Point Newspaper.
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