As part of the announced commitment in support of the COVAX initiative, INTERSOS is already active with its aid workers for the administration of vaccines in Borno State, Nigeria.
INTERSOS medical teams are active on the front line to support the vaccination campaign in Borno State, the area in North-East of Nigeria marked by a long conflict and one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. INTERSOS intervention ensures technical and logistical support for the campaign coordinated by the Nigerian Ministry of Health to manage the administration of the vaccines provided under the COVAX initiative.
In its first phase, the campaign involves the distribution of 75,000 doses to priority categories indicated by the government. Particularly, INTERSOS’ teams are supporting frontline health workers, laboratory technicians, medical doctors and intensive care unit operators. 43 vaccination teams have been set up and INTERSOS participates with its operators in 7 of them, in the capital Maiduguri and in the districts of Bama and Ngala, two of the humanitarian outposts, reachable only by helicopter, which host hundreds of thousands of displaced people and where, for three years now, our organisation has been conducting primary health activities.
“The challenges we face do not only concern the administration of vaccines – underlines the medical coordinator of INTERSOS Atilio Rivera – but also the logistical support necessary for the organisation of vaccinations and the transport of vaccines, particularly the cold chain management. Health surveillance on the effects of vaccination and communication with the population are also of paramount importance. We know well, thanks to INTERSOS’s field experience, how fundamental the mobilisation of communities is to ensure their full involvement and their trust”.
INTERSOS, with support from Stichting Vluchteling, will therefore dedicate additional resources to support the administration and communication of the vaccination campaign and the activation of local communities, especially in view of the second phase of vaccinations, the one that will involve the most vulnerable categories, as elderly people and persons with chronic diseases.