August 8, 2022, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: 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 the Republic of Rwanda to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination across the country. The vaccination drive is being launched at a time when the government plans to kick start mass vaccination roll out for children between 5 and 11 years old and administering of second booster doses to people aged 60 years and above.
Africa CDC and the Ministry of Health through the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative target to reach more than 700 thousand citizens, while strengthening the county’s cold chain capacity and bolster 21 new COVID-19 vaccination centers in the Northern, Southern and Western parts of the country to ensure COVID-19 vaccine accessibility and equity.
“The Africa CDC, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, recognizes that the only way to end the pandemic and safeguard lives and livelihoods on the continent is to immunize the African population rapidly. Through the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative, Africa CDC will continue supporting the continent to reach the COVID-19 vaccination target of 70% coverage by focusing on rural and other under-vaccinated communities to bring the pandemic under control,” said Dr. Achamyelesh Debela, Coordinator of Africa CDC Eastern Africa Regional Coordinating Centre.
Previously, under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative’s Urgent Support program, more than 151,000 vaccine doses were delivered to Rwanda to support the country’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The African Union, Africa CDC, Africa Medical Agency, and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) also acknowledged Rwanda as a strategic country leading the innovative pan-African initiatives. The country has been selected as one of the Africa Union Member States to produce the human vaccine using mRNA technology through the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM), with groundbreaking ceremony taking place in June 2022.
The Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative is a $1.5 billion partnership with the Mastercard Foundation launched in June 2021 to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for >65 million people and support the delivery of vaccines across the continent. A total of $2 million of the fund was provided to kickstart the implementation in Rwanda.
The initiative synergizes the efforts of the Government, Africa CDC, and other partners in increasing COVID-19 vaccine uptake. The implementation campaign will focus on improving risk communication, community engagement, vaccine capacity, logistics, and implementation science to enhance the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination support effort in Rwanda.
The ultimate goal of the Africa CDC through the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is to accelerate the 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
For media inquiries, please contact:
- Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Addis Mhiraf Asheber
Communication Officer, Eastern Africa Regional Coordinating Centre (Eastern Africa RCC)
Mobile- +254746116809 Email: Addismh@africa-union.org
- Mastercard Foundation Nonye Mpho Omotola
Lead, Health Program Communications, Human Capital Development firstname.lastname@example.org