Voices of Vaccine Champions

Vaccines are one of the most effective tools in global health – changing lives in communities around the world. The incredible progress we have made in reaching every child with life-saving vaccines is due to the work of individuals who are dedicated to improving systems and going above and beyond to increase access even in the hardest-to-reach communities. Meet just a few of these champions:

Dr. Amy Ambatobe Nyongolo

Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, RDC

En dépit des couvertures acceptables de la vaccination dans notre pays, les enfants continuent à mourir des épidémies et d’autres maladies évitables par la vaccination. L’éloignement géographique des centres de santé, le contexte des réfractaires, avec comme soubassement des convictions religieuses, les pesanteurs socio culturelles.

Le Gouvernement congolais et ses partenaires mettent déjà des moyens pour que tous les enfants soient atteints mais malheureusement il y a encore un gap important sur terrain en ce qui concerne le transport des vaccins et autres intrants des DPS vers les zones de santé et les centres de santé ainsi que les problèmes de défaut de cofinancement pour la vaccination de routine et l’introduction des nouveaux vaccins.

Les vaccins sont l’un des outils de santé publique les plus efficaces et les plus rentables disponibles. En vaccinant les enfants, nous faisons plus que de sauver leur vie. Nous protégeons également leur éducation, restituant un temps et de l’argent précieux à leurs familles, réduisant la charge de travail des agents de santé débordés et libérant des fonds dans les budgets gouvernementaux. Les vaccins sont des investissements critiques dans la prospérité future des pays. Chaque dollar investi dans les vaccins en Afrique rapporte environ 37 dollars, ce qui peut servir à d’autres priorités en matière de santé et de développement.

Il est donc important que chacun de nous dans son domaine s’implique pour que chaque enfant où il se trouve ait accès à tous les vaccins dont – il a besoin selon le calendrier vaccin.

Arlindo André Mudumbe

Provincial EPI Logistician, Gaza, Mozambique

“Strengthening the immunization supply chain helps to ensure timely and quality access to vaccines for  all children.

The challenges to reach the last mile with vaccine are related to the availability of resources over everything both financial and materials such as vehicles. The other aspect that is a challenge for the expanded vaccination program is the mapping and prioritization of communities that effectively need Mobile Brigades, which can maximize the limited resources available.

 

Beatriz Castigo Patrício

Provincial EPI Logistician, Sofala, Mozambique

By strengthening the immunization supply chain we make sure to have vaccines available in the right quantities, at the right places and at the right time in all areas, including in communities through Mobile Vaccination Brigades.

Some of the challenges in reaching the last mile with vaccines are inadequate means of transportation suitable for the field (motorcycle and 4×4 vehicles), inaccessible access roads (especially in the rainy season), and poor mapping of communities.

 

Carlitos Patrício Gergelim Checua

Provincial EPI Manager, Manica, Mozambique

The strengthening of immunization supply chains increases the availability of vaccines in a timely manner, improves functional cold chain,  and allows logistic personnel to manage the logistics process.

The challenges of reaching the last mile it is related to lack of transportation to do the distribution, the availability of quantity and timely vaccines and cold chain is definitely affected by lack of transportation.

 

Dr. Francis Dien Mwansa

National EPI Manager, Zambia

“The thing about #VaccinesWork is not so much about the science as that is as obvious as the sky being blue and water being wet. It is more about the vaccines’ delivery from the manufacturer, but importantly from the national central stores, to the eligible vaccinees. This is a sum of well thought through conducively effective supply chains and available-and-willing staff against the available time… then we can be certain that #VaccineWork, for they don’t while in the fridge.”

 

Mrs. Munembwe Tamukumwe Elysée

Quaestor of the Parliament, RDC

Le financement durable de la vaccination n’est pas une option ou un choix. Il est un impératif de souveraineté et un idéal qu’il nous faut atteindre à tout prix afin d’offrir des soins de qualité aux nombreuses familles congolaises. Nous continuons à y travailler et nous parviendrons .

Sustainable immunization financing is not an option or a choice. It is an imperative of sovereignty and an ideal that we must achieve at all costs in order to offer quality healthcare to many Congolese families. We continue to work on it and we will achieve it.

La vaccination est un procédé très simple, mais efficace qui nous permet ainsi d’intervenir en amont, en vue de nous prémunir des dangers que nous ne saurions peut-être juguler en aval en termes de conséquences et de cout. Si chaque parlementaire prend donc la mesure de sa responsabilité dans cette matière et s’en approprie le combat, il va de soi que cela constituera la meilleure garantie pour le financement durable de la vaccination et son appropriation par la communauté nationale .

Vaccination is a very simple, but effective process that allows us to intervene upstream, in order to protect us from the risks that we may not be able to handle downstream in terms of consequences and cost. If every member of parliament takes his responsibility in this matter and get fully involved, this will be the best guarantee for the sustainable immunization financing and its appropriation by the communities.

Njifunda Ngodeli

Traditional Chief, Boso-Mbuki, RDC

Our children were often very sick because vaccines were not available.  We are happy now that vaccines are more available, our children are becoming healthy and strong, they go to school every day to prepare their future.

 

Dr. Patricia Bobo

Assistant Director of Child Health and Nutrition, Ministry of Health, Zambia

As people privileged to work with and for the children, we have a responsibility to give each child the benefits of vaccination against vaccine preventable diseases. It is our duty to break the barriers that may make this impossible at whatever level, be it on the supply side – supply chain issues including ensuring the availability of a variety of vaccines as much as possible, cold chain and transportation of these to as close to the child as possible; issues of frontline health care workers including having enough staff at health facility of any level, and in the community, work on staff attitudes, and transport and other required tools etc – as well as on the demand side: ensuring that care-givers understand the benefits of vaccination and if they don’t come to us, we go out to them.

As it has been said before, “a nation is judged by how it treats the weak and vulnerable in society, especially the children,” we cannot start to talk about Universal Health Coverage if we leave our children behind, and this, in my view, is dependent on us in positions of service, on one hand, and on parents and guardians of these children on the other hand.  As parents and guardians, most often we make choices for our children based on what we think is right, but in so doing let us remember that we are what we are today because somebody made the right choices on our behalf. In my view, the right to vaccination is a human right!

 

Ruphin Ndumbala

Health Center Director, Boso-Mbuki, DRC

It was very difficult in the past to get the vaccines from the health district office, which is 71 miles away. We often experience stockouts and the vaccine calendar was not respected. I used to spend 2 days per month traveling by foot and in a canoe, to collect the vaccines from the district health office.  Now the vaccines are delivered right here to the health center and I can focus on the clinics and vaccine outreach.

 

Dr. Samuel Lokose

Medecin Chef du Zone Bolomba, Equateur, RDC

Ils (les personnels de santé de la première ligne) sont la colonne vertébrale de notre système de santé, car ils sont impliqués de la planification des activités de vaccination à l’analyse et à la transmission des données, en passant par la mise en œuvre des séances de vaccination et à la récupération des enfants non-atteints. Ils sont donc au four et au moulin et rien ne peut se faire sans eux !

 

 

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