Amref Health Africa partners with Africa CDC on COVID-19 vaccination efforts
In February 2022, Amref Health Africa was selected by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) as a key partner in efforts to set up and manage COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs) in 24 countries* across the continent.
The aim is to enable these countries to vaccinate at least 60% of their populations by the end of 2022. Amref is providing technical support for country-led and country-owned interventions, working hand-in-hand with the Africa CDC, national governments, and other local partners.
There are five key elements to the partnership:
1) Supporting 24 African Union Member States to set up CVCs
We are helping governments plan where and what type of CVCs are needed, setting up the appropriate CVCs to increase access to vaccinations, refurbishing existing CVCs in need of improvement, and ensuring that all CVCs are implementing infection prevention measures to make getting vaccinated safe for everyone.
2) Providing infrastructure essential to the smooth operation of CVCs
After vaccines are procured, we are acquiring and distributing other supplies that are essential to their administration, such as cold chain equipment, vaccination commodities, and personal protective equipment (PPE). We are building capacity and systems for real-time supply chain monitoring.
3) Training vaccinators and support staff
Using locally adapted guidelines and materials, we are training vaccinators as well as clinical, operations, and administrative staff to administer vaccines and operate CVCs using a blend of innovative digital tools and face-to-face methods. We are also preparing and mobilising Community Health Workers (CHWs) to support their communities to access CVCs and fill support roles at the CVCs.
4) Recruitment, training, and deployment of additional CVC staff
To ensure routine health services are not adversely affected, we are working with Ministries of Health, health training institutions, and private health systems, among others, to recruit and hire additional personnel to support CVCs. Surge staff will be trained, and we will enhance sustainability by designing pathways for them to remain in the health system.
5) Data collection, monitoring, tracking, and reporting
Across all intervention areas, we are filling gaps in existing information management systems, deploying new and innovative tools as appropriate, and working with CVCs on regular reporting. We’re addressing emerging needs in critical CVC functions such as patient registrations, appointments, follow-ups, and vaccine certificates.
* In East Africa: Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda. In Southern Africa: Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Banner image © Lillian Namusoke, Uganda, 2021
First body image © Aubrey Sinyangwe, Zambia, 2021
Second body image © Leonardo Mangia, Kenya, 2021