IOM Supports COVID-19 Vaccination in Hard-to-Reach Areas of Uganda

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has handed over supplies and equipment to Ministry of Health and Amuru and Kyotera district authorities, to support COVID-19 vaccination.

Valued at UGX 80 million, the items were procured under an IOM project funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation Agency (SDC).

Since October 2021, this project has been working to enhance equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination in Amuru and Kyotera districts. Specifically, it has targeted vulnerable populations, including migrants, in hard-to-reach areas.

IOM Uganda Chief of Mission Sanusi Tejan Savage and Honorary Swiss Consul Romina Koehler formally handed over the items, worth UGX 80 million, at the IOM Country Office in Kampala on 24 March 2022.

The package is part of the logistics and supply chain support that the project has been providing to the districts to support with COVID-19 vaccination campaigns. It included vaccines storage equipment and supplies such as; pharmaceutical refrigerator, advertising screen, vaccine carriers, cooler boxes, and syringe disposal containers. Other supplies included; laptops, plastic tables, plastic chairs, umbrellas, megaphones, hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment’s (PPEs)

The Commissioner for Vaccines and immunization in the Ministry of Health, Dr Alfred Driwale, said the support would help the Government to meet its vaccination targets. He cited Kyotera district, which is one of the best-performing districts in vaccine-uptake

“Our plan is to have the majority of the elderly population vaccinated and interventions like these only speed up government’s effort in achieving its vaccination target.”

In her remarks, Honorary Consul Romina Koehler reaffirmed Switzerland’s support for vulnerable populations and commitment to ensuring equitable health service delivery. “The Swiss Development Agency is glad to support IOM and and the Ministry of Health in the effort to administer vaccines to the most vulnerable population in the migrant communities including border and fishing communities in Amuru and Kyotera district.” She said” “We are grateful to the Ministry of Health and IOM that gave us the opportunity to be part of this project.”

The IOM Chief of Mission, Mr Savage, praised the Ministry of Health and district authorities for welcoming and working well with the project team to boost COVID-19 vaccination efforts

“Our interventions in Amuru and Kyotera districts have contributed to blunting the myths and misconceptions surrounding COVID-19 and the vaccine, and hence we have seen increased uptake of vaccine. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, district authorities, and community leaders, we conducted outreaches that have led to more than 43,000 individuals getting vaccinated including migrants,” he said.

Amuru district chief administrative officer, Mr Thompson Obong, pledged that the items would go to vulnerable people in the district.

Obong further recognized the project’s highly-successful sensitization about vaccination. “Our district is one of those with very stubborn population,” he said, citing anti-vaccine cultural beliefs and myths. “These [project’s] community dialogues were able to sort that out.”

Source: International Organization for Migration

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