Vaccines for informal settlements

10 August 2021 | Social Issues

The Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Windhoek’s informal settlements started towards the end of July 2021 at the constituency councillor’s office in Havana (Moses Garoeb constituency).
“The venue was selected due to its location in the heart of Havana, as it is opposite the only supermarket in the location, where hundreds of community members buy their groceries on a daily basis,” says Frida Muteka, operations director of the OmniCare Trust.
Muteka says that the uptake of vaccination within the informal settlements has been slow, despite various announcements on national radio and education by health workers in the community providing general health and specific virus information and emphasizing the important of vaccination.
“Many do not want to take the vaccine, as they are distrustful of it and its effects. This is due to the misinformation being spread through various social media channels,” adds Muteka. “Many in the informal settlement do not wear masks or practice social distancing and only wear their masks when entering establishments where it is required. To address this, community health workers spent part of the day going from house to house, engaging with the community by providing them with health education on the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the vaccine.”
FirstRand Namibia has been a supporter of the OmniCare Trust and the linked Mister Sister mobile clinic programme for many years, and has ramped up specific Covid-19 support since 2020.
In September 2020 the FirstRand Namibia HOPE (Health Optimisation Pandemic Emergency) Fund handed over a sponsorship totalling N$1 211 531 to the OmniCare Trust Mobile Clinic.
The funds were used towards the provision of primary healthcare services for the period of one year and Covid-19 testing for a period of three months.
“In June 2021 we again stepped forward by becoming part of the support team to numerous vaccination facilities including the Gondwana-led drive-through at the Windhoek show grounds, as well as the Omnicare Trust and Lady Pohamba vaccination facilities,” says Revonia Kahivere, CSI Manager: FirstRand Namibia Foundation.
“FirstRand Namibia is paying for three months of operational costs to enable these service providers to help Namibians fight the pandemic, which wreaked havoc on the country and its’ people over the last three months.”
Kahivere joined Frida Muteka by encouraging Namibians to get vaccinated.
“In the eight working days from 23 to 31 July, a total of 241 people received the Sinopharm, an average of 30 people per day. Of these, 122 were male and 119 were female; 229 people received their first dose, while the remaining 12 received their second dose and are fully vaccinated. This is a start, but we hope to welcome many more Namibians at our vaccination point.”
The vaccination clinic of OmniCare Trust is open Mondays to Saturdays from 8h00 – 17h00, and we request you to join this fight, which can only be won if we all stand together for the greater good,” concludes Muteka.

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