NAMIBIA – The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has collaborated with the Mastercard Foundation to commence the in-country implementation of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in Namibia.

Africa CDC revealed in a press statement that the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative and the Ministry of Health of Namibia have planned a target of 27 new vaccination centres while strengthening 70 COVID-19 vaccination centres and vaccinating more than 500,000 within 12 months in the selected sites.

The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in Namibia aims to ensure that COVID-19 vaccination efforts are integrated with childhood vaccinations leading to the protection of the communities from the impacts of COVID-19 and childhood vaccine-preventable diseases.

The COVID-19 Elimination Initiative seeks to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination at a time when the country launches its national integrated mass vaccine campaign with only 26% of the adult population fully vaccinated so far.

We recognizing that the only way to end the pandemic and safeguard lives and livelihoods on the continent is to immunize a critical mass of the African population rapidly,” said Dr. Lul Pout Riek, Coordinator of the Africa CDC Southern Africa Regional Coordinating Centre.

The Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative is a $1.5bn partnership with the Mastercard Foundation launched in June 2021. A total of $2 million of the fund has been provided to kickstart the first year of implementation in Namibia.

Africa CDC noted that the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative has a strong focus on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), vaccine capacity, logistics, and vaccine surveillance to enable Namibia to reach its COVID-19 vaccination target.

Risk Communication and Community Engagement will 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,” added Dr. Lul Pout Riek.

According to the Africa CDC, the Saving Lives initiative has recruited 29 data clerks who helped reduce the data backlog from 40% to 18%, procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and printing of M&E tools particularly 25,000 vaccination cards, 25,000 screening forms and 300 registers. 

Under its Urgent Support Program and the pooled fund for Namibia, the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative has provided a total of $479,000 to administer 43,257 COVID-19 vaccines and delivered 89,220 vaccines from the central stores to the health facilities,” Africa CDC said.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 Elimination Initiative in Namibia will improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake given that COVID-19 vaccines remain a critical tool in reducing transmission and ultimately returning the economies of Africa to normal.

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