From Seattle to Kinshasa: VillageReach Tailors COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Efforts

A sign at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, encourages people to come in for a jab. Source: Village Reach

Key Takeaways:

  • When providing COVID-19 related support, try to do so in a way that strengthens the local public health system as a whole.
  • Engage the government as stakeholders, get buy-in from local jurisdictions.
  • Be ready to change strategies. After the first few days of a vaccination site’s operation, evaluate the operation open hours.
  • Don’t expect the community to just “come to you” without extensive outreach work.
  • Community health workers can be effective in encouraging people to get vaccinated.
  • Be sensitive about local politics: “Even those who get vaccinated may not want others to know that they are vaccinated, ” Guerette said.
  • Be encouraging. Signs in Kinshasa say proudly in French: “I have been vaccinated against COVID-19 via the Vaccinodrome. How about you?”
  • Health workers everywhere are swamped, burnt out and discouraged. Think outside the box for ways to alleviate the burden, even with small tasks.
Hyacinthe Mushumbamwiza, the Rwanda Country Representative of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, shows core duties of a vaccination site during a Dec. 17, 2021, meeting of the Global Mass Vaccination Site Collaborative. Source: Village Reach

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