AU targets youth to accelerate Covid-19 vaccination uptake

Ms Ezinne Onwuekwe, the Vaccine Program Coordinator at the Africa CDC talking to trainees in Dar es Salaam on December 1, 2022.

Summary

  • Through the Initiative, mobile vaccinations will be provided in roadshows and vaccination events at colleges, youth centres, cinema, and shopping malls.

Dar es Salaam. The Africa Union is targeting youth to accelerate uptake of Covid-19 vaccination in the continent where the youngsters are estimated to account for the largest share of the population.

Some 100 youths from across the continent are undergoing training in Tanzania, through an initiative dubbed Bingwa, in attempt to establish a network of the vaccination champions.

The training which started last week will be followed by community engagement which will run to December 10 in Tanzania.

The initiative seeks to accelerate the uptake of Covid-19 vaccination in Africa from 24 percent in July to 70 percent in the next 12 months, according to Dr Kaniki Promesse, a seniour technical officer for strategic programmes at the Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

Speaking to The Citizen, Dr Promesse said, since youths account for over 60 percent of the continent’s population, they will help to spread the right information about vaccination through the initiative which will take 12 months.

“Through Bingwa initiative, we will engage and educate African youth about the Cvid-19 vaccination, counter misinformation, and stimulate massive demand to get the vaccines,” he said.

The Bingwa initiative brought on board social media influencers and artistes from the creative industry, including the famous singers like Lina Sanga, Abby Chams, Bhoke Egina and Shebby Medicine to name a few.

The artistes will share their stories on how Covid-19 affected their personal lives, during the roadshows to promote vaccination.

Trace Foundation and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) will support the participation of the artistes and influencers through a project known as German Cooperation on Strengthening Crisis and Pandemic Response in Africa.

 Trace Foundation will mobilise the musicians, filmmakers, and social and religious influencers to support the initiative.

Through the Initiative, mobile vaccinations will be provided in roadshows and vaccination events at colleges, youth centres, cinema, and shopping malls.

Activation of the vaccination drive will be carries at Tandika Mwembe Yanga on December 2, followed by another event December 9 and 10 at Mbagala Shule and Kongowe Shule respectively.