The Ministry of Health and Sanitation, with support from Concern Worldwide, European Union and International Rescue Committee, has engaged stakeholders and civil society organisations on the vaccination of healthcare workers and vulnerable people at risk of exclusion against Covid-19 in 16 districts across the country.
Since the commencement of the Covid-19 vaccination in Sierra Leone in March 2020, a total of 2,170,329 individuals have been fully vaccinated so far and that forms about 38.7% of the entire population.
He said although the figure shows progress towards international targets, there was still a significant gap as “we need to protect the entire population through Covid-19 preventive measures as we move towards the new normal.
The Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Austin Demby, in his address, thanked all partners, civil society organisations and stakeholders in the country for their tremendous effort they have put in the fight against Covid-19.
He said the Covid-19 virus is not just a health issue and that it’s something that requires health, social walker, and religious leaders, that should come together as a unified focus in the fight against Covid-19.
He said the message that is going out to the public about Covid-19 vaccination should be credible and reliable, because the public needs to get the information very well so they can have a better understanding about the vaccination process.
He said with the quality information they have been sending out to the people, they were able to vaccinate over 38% of the total population in the country and that they were still advocating to the general public to come out and receive the vaccine.
He said Covid-19 is still alive and over the past few weeks they have been having a single case across the country.
He encouraged everybody to come forward and get vaccinated and that people should adhere to health precautions by putting on facemasks in all public places, washing hands after every one to two hours every day.
He said they have five varieties of vaccine available in the country at the moment and each of them is viable to take and it’s free for every Sierra Leonean.
He said they were also available in all government hospitals nationwide.
The Health Coordinator for Concern Worldwide, Saran Cundy, said that since September, 2021, the organization has been supporting MoHS in the 16 Districts in Sierra Leone.
She said their focus has been to ensure all Sierra Leonean can access Covid-19 vaccination, and that the drive to achieve equality led them to target hard to reach communities through mobile vaccination teams.
“ECHO as our donor has looked beyond the tarmac providing flexible funding which adapts and listens to the needs of communities and allowing MoHS through mobile vaccination,” she said.
The Deputy Chief Medical Officer Clinical, Dr. Mustapha Kabba, said they have been having nationwide engagements in all hospital facilities across the country.