August 10, 2022, Maseru, Lesotho: The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has commenced the in-country implementation of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in Lesotho to accelerate the COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccination drive is coming at a time when the country only has 55% of the adult population fully vaccinated.
In this current support, the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative and the Ministry of Health of Lesotho have planned a target to strengthen 22 COVID-19 vaccination centres and vaccinating more than 270,000 within 12 months in the selected sites.
In his launching statement, the Honorable Minister of Health for Lesotho thanked the Africa CDC and its Implementing Partners for the successful kick-off as it marks a turning point in demand generation for COVID-19 vaccination uptake. He reiterated that this comes at a time where the confidence in COVID-19 vaccination, and thus its demand, has declined. Honorable Semano Sekatle called on the Africa CDC and the Implementing Partners to work together in order to achieve the collectively desired objectives. He concluded by declaring the launching of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods program Implementation in Lesotho.
Speaking at the launch event, the Coordinator of the Africa CDC Southern Africa Regional Coordinating Centre, Dr. Lul Pout Riek stated that the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will include a strong focus on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) to enable Lesotho citizens, particularly young people and rural populations, to understand the safety and benefits of vaccination.
“Africa CDC is very honoured today to launch the country implementation of the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, to support the Government of Lesotho in vaccinating its population. COVID-19 vaccines remain a critical tool in reducing transmission and ultimately returning the economies of Africa to normal. We recognizing that the only way to end the pandemic and safeguard lives and livelihoods on the continent is to immunize a critical mass of the African population rapidly,” he said. He further stated that RCCE will play a crucial role in creating demand for uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations and supporting other non-pharmaceutical efforts to break the transmission chain and mitigate the pandemic’s impact.
The Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative is a $1.5bn partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and launched in June 2021 to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for at least 65 million people and support the delivery to millions across the continent. A total of $807,067 of the fund has been provided to kickstart the first year of implementation in Lesotho.
The initiative will synergize the efforts of the Government, Africa CDC, and other partners in increasing COVID-19 vaccine uptake. The implementation of the program will focus on Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and vaccine capacity to enable Lesotho to reach its COVID-19 vaccination target. The ultimate goal of Africa CDC through the Saving lives and Livelihoods program is to accelerate 70% vaccine coverage of the African population by the end of 2022.
About the Saving Lives and Livelihoods Initiative: The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative is a three-year, US $1.5 billion partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) designed to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa and hasten the economic recovery of the continent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative is acquiring vaccines for more than 65 million people, supporting the delivery of vaccinations to millions across the continent, laying the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa by focusing on human capital development, and strengthening the capacity of Africa CDC. For more information on the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative, please visit: https://mastercardfdn.org/faq-saving-lives-and-livelihoods/
About the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)
Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programs. For more information, please visit: http://www.africacdc.org
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation is a Canadian foundation and one of the largest in the world, with approximately $40 billion in assets. The Foundation was created in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. Since its inception, the Foundation has operated independently of the company. The Foundation’s policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by its Board. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org
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