With the support of the U.S. Peace Corps, the Mantasoa CSB II launched its COVID-19 vaccination campaign yesterday. The campaign is providing free, Johnson&Johnson vaccines – a donation from the U.S. government – to approximately 4,000 community members in the 11 Fokontany of Mantasoa.
“It’s great that we can provide vaccinations to the people of Mantasoa since they have always supported our Peace Corps Training Center and Volunteers in Mantasoa,” Dr. Tahiry Raveloson, a Peace Corps Medical Officer said.
The Peace Corps’ campaign began with training on how to conduct COVID-19 vaccine sensitization campaigns and run vaccine clinics. Nearly 20 community health workers (CHWs), all 11 Fokontany presidents, and 32 Peace Corps staff members participated.
“I want to thank the doctors, Agent Communautaires (ACs), and Peace Corps members who helped with the sensitization and the vaccination effort in each Fokontany,” Rakotozafy Jean Pierre, the Mayor of Mantasoa said. “Thanks to that people are lining up to get vaccinated starting with the Chef of the Fokontany.”
Through November, Peace Corps staff members and ACs will conduct outreach to promote the vaccine and answers questions and concerns. They will also run local vaccine clinics in each Fokontany. For example, Peace Corps and CSB staff conducted a vaccine clinic in Andrefanivorona on October 14 and another in Masombahiny on October 15.
Since the campaign’s launch on October 3, there has been a dramatic increase in vaccinations, with 233 people vaccinated to date.
“In the beginning, I was very hesitant about getting vaccinated, like almost everyone in the rural areas but after the sensitization and some information that I got about J&J, I got vaccinated,” Rakotomalala Raymond, President of Fokontany Andrefanivorona, said.
This vaccination campaign represents just one of the ways the United States is supporting the global effort to expand and intensify the fight against COVID-19 abroad, respond to humanitarian crises exacerbated by COVID-19, and support a global recovery while preparing for future pandemic threats.
The U.S. government has been a leading partner to Madagascar, standing side-by-side like “mpirahalahy mianala” in responding to outbreaks of plague, measles, malaria, and COVID-19. The United States remains the largest single-country donor to Madagascar’s health sector, having provided $74.5 million in 2020 alone to strengthen the country’s health system.