Centre for Development Communications (CDC) has partnered with the District Health Office in Mulanje in mobilizing the unvaccinated population in the district to access COVID-19 vaccines.
CDC Executive Director Fred Yiwombe told Zodiak Online that it is unfortunate that Mulanje is among the top five districts with low uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Demand creation on COVID-19 vaccine should continue despite the country being hit by cholera and Cyclone Freddy. We need as many people as possible to access the vaccines if we as a country are to be safe,” said Yiwombe.
He has since challenged the media to develop stories and programmes that demystify COVID-19 vaccine with the aim of increasing the vaccine uptake.
Meanwhile spokesperson for the District Health Office in Mulanje Chipiliro Mjojo has conceded that they will not reach their target of vaccinating 70% of the district’s population against COVID-19 by June this year.
Mjojo told Zodiak Online that since March, 2021, they have only vaccinated 12% of people in the district.
“There are several barriers in mobilizing people to access COVID-19 vaccines and topping the list of these barriers is politics where some political leaders have been politicizing both the disease (COVID-19) and the vaccines,” said Mjojo.
Nevertheless Mjojo said the health workers are tirelessly working with political, traditional, religious and other influential leaders to increase the uptake.
According to Yiwombe, for one year they will be implementing a community engagement project through Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC), interpersonal communication, door to door and developing and distributing Information, Education and Communication with focus on demystifying myths and clearing all misconceptions on COVID-19 vaccines.
He said the project is funded by AMREF Health Africa to the tune of USD180, 000 which is equivalent to K180 million.