ALIMA continues its commitment to the fight against COVID-19 in Africa and launches a campaign to support vaccination in six countries
Dakar, Senegal, June 22, 2021 – ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) is working to vaccinate the most vulnerable communities against COVID-19, and thus addressing the many challenges related to the pandemic on the African continent.
ALIMA first committed to controlling the spread of COVID-19 when the virus arrived in Africa in March 2020. Throughout its countries of operation, ALIMA supported Ministries of Health by installing 1,000 hospital beds and caring for 20,554 people (suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients). Today, ALIMA will strengthen the operational and medical capacities of the countries involved for the successful implementation of immunization campaigns. This initiative will help more than 400,000 people in highly-vulnerable situations to be vaccinated, across six countries in West and Central Africa: Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and the Central African Republic.
A vaccination campaign for the most vulnerable
Thanks to the support of the European Union, ALIMA will receive funding over 18 months to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates. This will help to facilitate the vaccination of vulnerable people in hard-to-reach areas, in order to protect them from severe forms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection and the potentially-deadly consequences of the disease.
In particular, ALIMA will deploy its efforts to vaccinate people living in the most remote areas, as well as victims of humanitarian crises (conflicts, population displacements, health emergencies). ALIMA understands the importance of proceeding rapidly with this vaccination to protect populations, in a context of active circulation of the virus and the fragility of many African healthcare systems. ALIMA will pay particular attention to guaranteeing the quality of vaccinations, in collaboration with local health authorities; a system will be set up to monitor adverse post-vaccination reactions and to ensure that patients are properly cared for.
“ALIMA is committed to using its expertise to provide logistical and medical support for these vaccinations, and reinforce community awareness campaigns,” says Dr. Susan Shepherd, a pediatric expert and researcher at ALIMA. “This is essential to accelerate vaccination in Africa. However, the supply of vaccines remains insufficient. It is imperative to accelerate the supply of vaccines, which has been started by the COVAX initiative, if we want to achieve total success. We need to move from vaccines to immunization.”
A call for a multi-stakeholder alliance to ensure African populations are protected from COVID-19
Through its efforts, ALIMA wishes to draw attention to the inadequacy of the measures initiated in light of the rapid evolution of the pandemic and new knowledge on the subject, and calls for a greater mobilization for COVID-19 immunization on the African continent. The supply of vaccines made possible by the COVAX system is certainly beneficial, but does not take into account the operational challenges of mass vaccination campaigns.
ALIMA (The Alliance for International Medical Action) is a medical humanitarian NGO established in 2009 to provide quality health care to the most vulnerable people in high-mortality areas during emergencies and crises. ALIMA relies on an operational model based on partnerships with national humanitarian actors and local communities, and has established itself as a key player in the medical humanitarian field in Africa. ALIMA’s ambition is to revolutionize emergency medical aid and transform humanitarian medicine, by conducting research and fostering innovation to strengthen the impact of humanitarian actions. In 12 years, ALIMA has treated more than seven million patients in 14 countries, and launched more than 30 research projects, with a focus on malnutrition, malaria, the Ebola Virus Disease, COVID-19 and Lassa fever.
© Daniel Beloumou / ALIMA
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