Banner Image: A placard at the SOS Hospital in Congo Town showing different locations for coronavirus vaccine administration. The DayLight/William Harmon

By Emmanuel Sherman

MONROVIA – A campaign seeking to engage communities in Liberia to turn out and get vaccinated against coronavirus has been launched in Monrovia.

The campaign is part of Supporting Effective Advocacy in Liberia (SEAL), a project, which seeks to create awareness, provide information and carry out promotions on the new, deadly Delta variant of the coronavirus. It is being implemented by the National Civil Society Council of Liberia, Mercy Corps alongside 25 civil society and community based organizations.

“As we launch this COVID-19 advocacy action today, it is important that you understand the basic health COVID-19 protocols and other international health regulations of the virus,” said Joseph Weah the communication and advocacy lead at the NPHIL at the launch over the weekend. “By doing so, it will put you in a better position in your advocacy and awareness drive.”

Currently, Liberia is experiencing its third wave of the pandemic. Up to date, the country has accumulated 5,727 cases and 245 deaths as of Sunday, according to the National Public Health Institute (NPHIL).

Liberia has received two types of vaccines—the Johnson & Johnson, which is given as a single dose per person and the AstraZeneca, which is two doses per person. Vaccination is being administered at a number of health facilities in the country, including the SOS Hospital and the St. Joseph Catholic Hospital in Congo Town, Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, the 14 Military Hospital on the Roberts International Airport highway and the John F. Kennedy Medical Hospital in Sinkor. However, people are not turning out to get them.

Loretta Pope Kai, in the middle, and representatives of NGOs and the government of Liberia. The DayLight/Emmanuel Sherman

“One key activity is to enhance citizens’ awareness on their rights to basic services, mechanism to access them and document the evidence of access to services in SEAL’s targeted counties,” said Loretta Pope Kai, the chairperson of the National Civil society Council of Liberia.  “In June this year, we strongly worked with SEAL partners to revise our advocacy strategy to strengthen awareness on the ground working through CSOs.”

Mwesigwa Bikie Isharaza, the interim director of programs at Mercy Corps, underscored the importance of CSOs and urged them to remain engaged with communities by giving them access to information that will enhance the fight against COVID-19.

The campaign is funded by the European, Irish Aid, KVINNA TILL KVINNA and Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). It targets communities in Montserrado, River Cess, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Sinoe, Maryland and Grand Kru.

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