€2m COVID-19 vaccination uptake campaign launched

A €2million funded national COVID-19 vaccination campaign aimed at increasing vaccine uptake and improving conditions for the effective management of the pandemic in the country was yesterday launched in Accra.

Dubbed the “Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) National Risk Communication COVID-19 Vaccination Update Support Project,” it is a Ghana Health Service (GHS) initiative with funding support from the German Development Cooperation.

It is being implemented by GIZ in collaboration with Clinton Health Access Initiative, World Vision and African German Health Association.

Dr Dacosta Aboagye, Director of Health Promotion at the GHS, launching the project said there was still more work to be done as the country was yet to meet its initial target of 20 million population to be vaccinated.

“In Ghana, we initially set for ourselves a target of vaccinating 20 million eligible population. So far we have given out about 18.6 million doses and 25 per cent of the target being fully vaccinated,” he stated.

“It means we still have some work to be done. Risk communication and communication interventions are the surest ways to scale up vaccine uptake among other public interventions,” he added.

As such, Dr Aboagye said the project would cover sensitisation and public education, training, call centre activities, medical waste management, research and e-health.

“It is indeed a step in the right direction; a much needed and all-hands-on-deck endeavour we need to undertake for Ghanaians to be vaccinated,” he added.

Dr Aboagye further underscored that the project was in alignment with the government’s strategic approach used in the management of the pandemic.

Ariane von Maercker, Co-Lead of the project, disclosed that GIZ was supporting many countries worldwide, especially in Africa and Asia with the initiative to prevent infections and protect lives globally.

Here in Ghana, she reiterated that €2million had been received to support the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign “with sensitisation activities and also waste management, research and e-health.”

Ms Maercker emphasised that the project fell under Germany’s Last Mile Initiative which sought to rapidly increase global COVID-19 vaccine coverage and uptake and offered technical and financial support to low-income countries.

“In 2022, Germany in total has provided more than €1.3 billion to fight COVID-19. Two-thirds of this total will contribute to the Last Mile Initiative from which funds will go to multilateral agencies collaborating through the Access to COVID-19 Tools-Accelerator (ACT-A),”she stated.

“Complementary to the multilateral engagement, and as part of the Last Mile Initiative, Germany provides €224 million for bilateral projects and direct support for vaccination campaigns. Of those €174 million is budgeted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), €50 millionis contributed by the foreign office,” he added.

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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